Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas City Chiefs Should Trade For Matt Hasselbeck

Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli needs to get on the phone with the Tennessee Titans to find out what it would cost to pry away QB Matt Hasselbeck.

Various sources are reporting that second year QB Jake Locker has beaten out veteran Hasselbeck to be the starter in Tennessee. The Titans are moving forward into a new era and Hasselbeck is the odd man out.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have value in the NFL.

This isn’t an indictment on Chiefs QB Matt Cassel. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way Cassel has played so far in the preseason under Brian Daboll. He is going through his reads, he looks comfortable and he is almost always making the right decision with the football. Most of all, he is moving the offense and scoring points, a feat we haven’t seen from a Chiefs offense in the preseason since the Clinton administration.

No, my belief that the Chiefs should be interested in Hasselbeck is based squarely on the Chiefs’ backup QB situation.

I’m not impressed by Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi. To me, Quinn looks like a third-string QB and Stanzi doesn’t even look like he belongs in the NFL.

I know this view isn’t entirely fair to Stanzi. The kid had no offseason as a rookie. What time he did get to practice was shortened thanks to the overall lack of reps that were available for a third-string QB in a compressed, shortened training camp. Throw on top of that Todd Haley’s hair-brained preseason strategy and a new offensive coordinator in 2012 and it is no wonder Stanzi looks like the second coming of Tyler Palko.

But I’m not concerned about the development of Ricky Stanzi.

I’m concerned about what will happen to this very talented Chiefs team should they suddenly find themselves without the services of Matt Cassel.

Matt Hasselbeck is the perfect backup for the Chiefs. Hasselbeck is Matt Cassel with 14 years of NFL experience. He will never carry a team on his own but he has shown he can be productive as long as the pieces around him are solid.

Just look at his numbers.

Career Passer Rating:

Hasselbeck: 82.4

Cassel: 82.5

Completion %:

Hasselbeck: 60.3

Cassel: 59

Average Completion:

Hasselbeck: 6.91

Cassel: 6.62

TD:INT Ratio:

Hasselbeck: 1.4 to 1

Cassel: 1.7 to 1

Both QBs have had seasons where they looked like Pro Bowlers and both have had seasons where they looked like backups.

In 2007, Hasselbeck had perhaps his best season, throwing for 3,966 yards and 28 TDs vs. 12 interceptions. Those numbers look a lot similar to Cassel’s 2010 season in which he threw for 3,116 yards and 27 TDs vs. 7 interceptions. There is a discrepancy in yards but Hasselbeck attempted 562 passes compared to just 450 from Cassel. The next season, Hasselbeck played in only seven games and completed just 52.2 percent of his passes and he had a 1:2 TD to interception ratio.

These guys, Cassel and Hasselbeck, are cut from the same cloth.

Brian Daboll’s offense is designed for guys like Cassel, Hasselbeck and Matt Moore to succeed.Look, not every QB is Tom Brady but the ones that aren’t aren’t necessarily Jamarcus Russel.

After watching Daboll’s offense, I am convinced that the Chiefs have enough talent to win playoff games with Cassel at the helm. I was not convinced of this last season but Cassel and Daboll have changed my mind. How far they can go, I don’t know.

What I do know is that Cassel is the team’s best and only option right now.

Trading for Hasselbeck is a smart business decision for Pioli. The Titans will likely want to dump the veteran so that their new QB can operate without a more accomplished signal caller looking over his shoulder. In KC, there is no question that this is Cassel’s team, at least for now. Hasselbeck would provide the kind of security blanket that could keep the Chiefs in contention even if Cassel should go down.

Hasselbeck is 36. He isn’t likely to be handed another starting job in the NFL and 2012 very well could be his last season as a pro. He is more accurate and experienced than Brady Quinn and could also be an excellent mentor for Ricky Stanzi, should the Chiefs decide to keep him.

As far as for what the Chiefs would have to give up to get Hasselbeck, it likely wouldn’t be much. I’d think a seventh round draft pick would get the job done and truthfully, the Titans will be lucky to get that. Given Hasselbeck’s advanced age, it is unlikely many teams will want to give up any draft picks for him. The hope will likely be that he’ll be cut, at which point a team could try to swoop in and get him for free.

As far as I can tell, Hasselbeck is due $5.5 million this season and $5.5 million next season. The Chiefs allowed Kyle Orton to leave and sign with the Cowboys for a three-year, $10.5 million dollar contract. Orton received a $5 million dollar signing bonus from the Cowboys.

Looking at those numbers, I find it hard to believe Scott Pioli would pay the full $5.5 million for Hasselbeck, though he might be able to work out some sort of split with the Titans.

The Chiefs certainly have the money to pay Hasselbeck if they want to and since bringing him on would mean they’d either be dumping Quinn ($1.5 million) or Stanzi ($465,000), they’d be trimming things up a bit.

After seeing the way the KC backups have played, Hasselbeck may well be worth the investment, at least for this season. I could care less about the Chiefs giving up a seventh round pick for a chance at security at the QB position for a season or two. Let’s be honest, that is more than they will likely ever get out of whomever they draft in the seventh round next offseason.

The Chiefs saw what happened when they didn’t have adequate backups in 2011. Had Kyle Orton been on the roster the entire season, the Chiefs would likely be going for their third-straight AFC West Championship in 2012.

What do you think, Addicts? Is Hasselbeck worth a seventh rounder and some case? Or are you comfortable going into the season with Quinn and “Hobo-hair” Ricky?

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Tags: Matt Hasselbeck

  • damon huard

    um never.

    • Patrick Allen

      Have a reason?

  • Manny8808

    Week 2 of the pre-season… A little over-reactive in my opinion, but an interesting take. I think the Titans will want to keep him.

    • Patrick Allen

      I look at it like this: Stanzi probably isn’t going to be ready to lead an NFL team as a starter this season. Not as bad as he looks right now. He won’t magically get competent.

      I don’t think Quinn is as good as Hasselbeck, even at 36.

      • Manny8808

        Stanzi hasn’t dazzled and we have seen why he didn’t play last year… Quinn, I would like to think, would be hungry for an opportunity to prove himself. He would have the best supporting cast since being in the NFL. I admit, I wouldn’t be the most comfortable turning it over to him either. I just don’t think that bringing in a 36 year old Matt Hassleback would be the answer. If you make a trade for a back-up bring in T. Jackson from Seattle or someone with a little more tread… Because the last thing we would want is for the backup to Cassel to go down and then HAVE to give it Stanzi (knock on wood)… I just threw up a little in my mouth with that last thought…

  • Jason Seibel

    I never really had thought about this, but you make a very compelling argument. Having lived in Washington, I was a Hasselback fan when he played for Seattle. I would gladly give up a 13 7th round pick for him to back up Cassel. Having the Matts calling our plays would be a great move! Dump Stanzi or at least relegate him to the practice squad for a year.

  • tm1946

    That would make all the “look at all the potential Stanzi has” guys happy. He could get another year of holding a clipboard if, heaven forbid, Cassel goes down for a period, you have a QB who might actually win a game.
    All that said, doubt Pioli would chance anyone beating out Cassel for playing time.

  • KCNJ

    I don’t think the Titans will give up Hasselbeck for the very reasons you cite the Chiefs might like to get him. An unproven starter in Jake Locker…why would they trade away their insurance policy?

    • Patrick Allen

      I disagree. They are moving on with their QBOTF. Why not try to get out from under MH’s contract?

  • NicholasAlanClayton

    Two issues: 1.) I highly doubt the Titans want to deal them. Locker has looked just good enough to get the start, since they obviously have no future with Hasselbeck, but I would bet they want to keep him as an insurance policy not only because Locker has been inconsistent but because he is mobile and tends to take hits. Behind Hasselbeck they have Rusty Smith. Google him. He looks 15-years-old and when he had to start last year he was worse than Tyler Palko. Seriously. 2.) Quinn has been overall underwhelming but statistically not as bad as he looks. So far this preseason he is 12/19 for 151 yards 1 TD, and 1 INT that was totally the wideout’s fault. Still, even with the INT he has a 83.4 passer rating so far. Not so shabby for a backup. We a running team, we don’t need Matt Flynn backing up Cassel.

  • Chiefswatch

    Yea i don’t see Tennessee letting him go. Maybe mid season but not right now.

  • MichaelJBultman

    Personally, I think Cassel is a great player and has looked sharp this season. He may even be drafted in some fantasy leagues this year! Discussion on numberFire:

    • micah stephenson

      Lol. I picked up Cassel in the last rd of my fantasy draft just to b funny. I have Cam Newton as my starter and Eli Manning my back up. I picked RB Ray Rice wit the 2nd overall pick but kinda wanted Calvin Johnson.

  • ArrowFan

    Quinn looked better in the second game. Other than his passes being to high he looked good in the first game, I liked his decisions, poise, and command he was just a little to high. Stanzi on the other hand I’m not sure where to begin.

  • micah stephenson

    Hmmm. I dont know about that. 1st int Cassel throws and the Cassel Haters will want Hasselbeck to become the starter. We dont need another Orton/Tebow or Sanchez/Tebow situation. I think 1st rd pick Quinn can do just as good as the 1,739 yr old Hasselbeck as the back up. Lol

    • Patrick Allen

      I dunno. I think most fans realize where MH is at this point. Unless Cassel was absolutely dreadful, he’s the better option.

  • steve james

    I agree with the sentiment, they won’t let go of their insurance policy why would they. They also know what they have and it would take more than a 7th rounder to get him from them THIS year.

  • big chief

    Stanzi is horrible at best so Matty H. wouldn’t be a bad move but I think Tennessee would want too much. Stick with Pretty Boy Quinn.


    Hasselbeck Is way over rated .He should have been replaced by the sea hawks long ago .He has been a starter for years .He should have made the super bowl .The chiefs are idiots if they get this used up over rated non quarterback.Why the heck would they wont him .I guess the Chiefs like to loose.

  • KCNJ

    I’ll say again – Titans keep Hasselbeck. Rusty Smith is not going to be their number 2. Locker is their “quarterback of the future” until he stumbles or gets hurt, and Hasselbeck is not likely to be anything but a backup elsewhere.

    The reason he’d be valuable to us is the same reason he’d be valuable for Titans, EXCEPT that we actually HAVE a a semi-viable backup.

  • Chief Phil

    What about Alex Tanney instead of Ricky Stanzi or Brady Quinn? I think that’s way better than hassleback. Reports from camp say he’s as accurate as his youtube video shows him to be…. Doesn’t the man at least deserve a shot in the preseason??? How much you want to bet that the Chiefs sleep on him and this season or the next he’s shredding up defensive backs for another team? The guy is more accurate than a bunker buster locked on Osama Bin Laden from 60 yards away. What the hell, Chiefs?