Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

No, We Didn’t Overpay For Fasano & Daniel


I don’t know about the rest of you, but this past week has done wonders for my mental health.

Although we still have to get through the rest of free agency, the Draft and training camp, it is quite clear that the Chiefs team that takes the field in September will be the best in years. In terms of balance on both offense and defense, it may be the best we’ve had since the 1990’s.

Of all the myriad moves the Chiefs made in the past week, nearly all seemed to have two things in common: 1.) The players cited the winning credibility of our head coach as one of the major factors in them signing for KC (when was the last time we heard that?) and 2.) (In part because of point #1,) the team got good value with each of its pickups.

On the second point, there were only two players some commentators believe the Chiefs overpaid for: TE Anthony Fasano (4 years, $16 million) and QB Chase Daniel (3 years, $10 million). I disagree in both cases.

First, Fasano.

Line up this guy’s stats next to literally any player that has caught a ball for the Chiefs in the last five years. He’s averaged 4.6 touchdowns per season since joining the Dolphins in 2008. The only Chief that comes close to that is WR Dwayne Bowe with 6.8, but take away his insane 15-TD 2010 season and his average is 4.75 – pretty much the same as Fasano. By the way, Bowe’s deal averages to over $10 million per year, Fasano’s — $4 million.

What’s that? Only crap quarterbacks were throwing to Bowe the last five years? Well, here’s a list of the guys that have been throwing to Fasano since 2008: Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill. The only time Fasano has played with a quarterback that posted a QBR ranked in the top 15 in the league was in his first year with Pennington, who turned in a 74.6 rating that year.

That year, Fasano averaged 13.4 yards per reception and racked up 7 TD’s. Just a reminder: Alex Smith’s QBR last year was 70.1. Moeaki certainly has potential, but he’s only gotten into the end zone four times for us in his NFL career.

Next, Daniel.

Obviously, there is very little tape on Daniel, but the Chiefs got the market rate for him.

I understand a lot of Chiefs fans are skeptical because pretty much the only people who have seen Daniel play in an NFL uniform are Saints and Redskins fans. Luckily for you, I went to college in Washington, DC, and I was still following the Redskins in 2009 when Daniel entered the league. An undrafted free agent pickup by the ‘Skins, he outplayed every QB on the roster that preseason, ending with a QB rating of 110.6. But, the regime decided to stick with QB’s Todd Collins, Colt Brennan and Jason Campbell when the season started because they’d already wasted draft picks on two of them and they trusted old man Collins as a safer backup option.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel’s spot on Washington’s practice squad wasn’t even warm before New Orleans snatched him by offering him a roster spot, seeing a little of Drew Brees in him. Here’s how his preseasons with the Saints have gone since:

 

2010: 31/48 (64.5%), 369 yards (11.9 average), 4 TD, 3 INT, RAT: 78.1

2011: 28/53 (52.8%), 447 yards (15.9 average), 3 TD, 1 INT, RAT: 91.3

2012: 46/64 (71.8%), 538 yards (11.7 average), 4 TD, 2 INT, RAT: 98.7

 

Of course, it’s always difficult to judge players – especially quarterbacks – based on preseason play. On one hand, they’re throwing against mostly backup defensive backs, but they’re also playing with a hodge-podge of offensive linemen and receivers, most of whom haven’t played with each other before and won’t be on the team by the time the regular season begins. In the end, there are reasons why the chaotic qualities of playing in the second half of preseason games can go both for and against QB’s.

What we can gleam from these stats is that Chase Daniel has proven he can be an efficient quarterback and he is progressing. The only lull in his progress towards very high-efficiency throwing was in 2011 when he was obviously trying more deep passes, accumulating a 15.9 yards-per-completion average.

It is also telling that he was able to work his way up from undrafted free agent to second-string quarterback on the New Orleans freakin’ Saints, whose offense requires both smarts and a guy you trust to throw the ball 50 times a game sometimes.

But, don’t take my word for it.

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. wrote in an ESPN Insider article this week: “Daniel was one of my favorites among this year’s free-agent quarterbacks, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the former University of Missouri QB makes an impact on his new team. He, too, is efficient, gets the ball out quickly and is accurate with his ball placement. Plus, hanging in the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback meeting room over the past few years couldn’t have been be a bad thing. He might just challenge Smith for the starting role. It’s safe to say that not only will Kansas City be improved at quarterback, but more importantly, the number of turnovers and mistakes generated from this position will be dramatically decreased from a year ago. That in itself should dramatically improve the Chiefs’ chances of generating more wins.”

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Bottom line: The Chiefs got a 26-year-old backup quarterback with upside and Reid thinks he’s a fit for the system. Good signing.

The Chiefs made plenty of other good signings and check out Stacey’s post for a full list and AA’s coverage throughout the week for breakdowns of every player.

The wave of acquisitions has given the Chiefs an all-around stronger roster. We no longer have any gaping holes. In the Draft, we can essentially do whatever we want, which is the strongest possible position.

I, for one, am giddy again, and I haven’t felt that for this team in a good long while.

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Tags: Alex Smith Andy Reid Anthony Fasano Chase Daniel Free Agency

  • chiefridgy

    Looks as though we got some good overall value. Can’t wait to see these two light it up…… And is that competition at the QB position? What’s that?

  • goodarticle

    also with the changes to the cba, we are seeing FA’s get more money at certain positions. with an increased cap expected in the coming years I think the money will be there for most teams to be paying their backup qb 3 mil per year, and their 2nd possibly 1st TE, 4 mil

  • goodarticle

    one of the better researched and better written pieces on AA-

  • toperspective

    Good article. What about Avery? His name is actually the one that pops up the most when discussing overpaid FA’s for the Chiefs.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      A #2 receiver for an average of $2.85 million per year? I’ll take it. Breaston was making more than that and he got a $5-million signing bonus.

      • toperspective

        PIOLI!!! (shouted like KAAAHN)

  • KCPauly

    Where’s Micah?…I’ll do it then….He’s no Geno Smith LOL :~))

  • KCPauly

    No really though, I like the signings,so far I think we paid what Mr. Reid and Mr. Dorsey thought they were worth, they know more than me so what can I say?…except I would love to see what Alex tanney has to offer? he had a 3yr. deal and they haven’t cut him yet so he may have promise? can’t wait to see what happens next, I too am Giddy for the first time in eons…..

    • Heilios

      I am glad to hear i am not the only person who really wants to see Tanney in action. I think he has what it takes to be excellent!

      • Michael Shaw

        An excellent trick shot artist, yes. An excellent QB? Not so sure. I am intrigued at the fact that both Alex Tanney AND Ricky Stanzi are still on this team!!!!!!!!!

  • Bill

    Walterfootball.com has a pretty good list of FA grades and I would have to agree with Walt that Donnie Avery, Alex Smith and Dutin Colquitt are the bigest value concerns. I love Dustin, but $18.75 mil is alot for a punter. I think Alex was the best QB available, but he’ll have to continue where he left off last year to be worth what KC gave up. Avery = Drops + Injuries. There are value concerns with almost everyone KC signed this offseason, but if at least a few of them live up to their
    contracts I’ll be happy. It takes $$ to get players to come to a 2-14 team…

    • toperspective

      Wow, Walter not a fan of what the Chiefs have done in free agency including re-signing Bowe. I also don’t understand the Avery signing. Not sure what he has done to justify that contract but I’ll defer to Reid and Dorsey….which I’m sure puts their minds at ease :). With Colquitt maybe they are overpaying by 500k or so which isn’t a big deal in the scheme of things.

      • KCMikeG

        One of the biggest limitations our offense has had is we have not had a burner to stretch the field. Just the threat of him igniting at the line will draw back the safety and his speed down the field will open up underneath for the TE’s and Bowe/Baldwin for lots of YAC.

        • toperspective

          But if he can’t catch the ball….. Not sure how much Baldwin will contribute. Another Pioli reach that isn’t working out. I wonder if anyone picking within 10 spots of the Chiefs said “damn Pioli, he got our guy”?

          Williamson at ESPN wrote: Reid was less expansive on his answers when the subject of 2011 first-round pick, receiver Jon Baldwin, came up.

          “Baldwin is kind of a tweener,” Reid said. “He does have good, long speed, not great long speed. He’s somebody that needs to continue to develop. That’s a position that you need time to develop in. We’ll see how he does.”

          Baldwin has talent, but reading Reid’s comments, I get the idea he isn’t exactly counting on Baldwin.

          • KCMikeG

            He has a rep for having questionable hands but we just wrote a pretty big check to another guy with the same history. Besides he only dropped .056 or 7 of his 125 attempts last year. Some perspective – Cobb had 9 and Decker had 8 with balls coming from Rodgers and Manning.
            I think that Baldwin has weathered some pretty serious shit storms in KC including having a “leader” on the team break his hand. It is not unusual for WR’s to take 2-3 to get up to NFL speed although a 1st round pick should sooner. This year will tell but if he puts for the effort like he did in camp last year and he finally has a QB that can throw the ball to him for the 1st time in what 3-4 years going back to Pitt, then I think he could still be a diamond in the rough. Think TO in Philly. Plus having a great, hell even stable would be great, coaching staff will give him a better chance at performing. Even if we can’t get him to play like a #1 WR a #2 will work with Bowe’s pending explosion. If nothing else I think Reid/Smith will get enough out of him to get us a 2nd or 3rd round for him.

          • berttheclock

            Not get him the ball? Yeah, kind of tough having to catch a pass which hits you in your helmet because you have not turned to look for the pass. Mark Malone, the former QB for the Steelers was livid after watching Baldwin stroll down the field not even looking for the ball, then, not putting out any energy he had when he broke out of a break. He is no different than he was in Pittsburgh. Can’t separate, does not use his hands properly to fend off aggressive D-backs. Yes, he can leap in the end zone, especially, against lesser d-backs such as in the Big East or up at St Joe in training camp, but, against true starters, he disappears. The Ravens took Torrey Smith, the speedster after “Asleep at the swich” Pioli blundered on Baldwin, pay him far less and he is light years better than JB and it did not take him 2-3 years to show his worth.

          • KCMikeG

            Agree to disagree on Baldwin for now but there is no arguing the brilliance of Pioli getting Pro Bowler Houston for free with that pick. Even if Bldwin is never worthy of more than a 3rd round pick then it was still a great move to get one of the best players on our defense for the future.

          • http://twitter.com/RusselAzul Russel Azul

            I say give him one more year to prove himself with a fresh start in a great offensive scheme, if not, buh-bye, and we bring in another “bowe” to line up across from the real one

        • Jim Harper

          Exactly

      • Jim Harper

        Field position is everything, and Colquitt is excellent at putting his punts inside the 20 which has a negative effect on his yardage average, but that is why he is so valuable.

        • toperspective

          I agree he’s valuable. I just said although he may be getting overpaid a bit it’s not a big deal in the scheme of things. A good punter, particularly when combined with a good defense, can turn a game around.

          • http://twitter.com/RusselAzul Russel Azul

            Great locker room influence too, can’t forget that :)

    • Michael Shaw

      Amazing how people still only see the glass as half empty and not half full!!!!!

      • Bill

        I guess i’m cynical, but after last season it’s going to take some good play on the field before I get too exited. It is refreshing to see the effort being made this off season though.

    • http://twitter.com/RusselAzul Russel Azul

      Even if we end up “wasting” some of this money, at least the Chiefs are finally spending money in FA! It’s refreshing to say the least, and hope can do wonders for a team’s moral!

  • Jim Harper

    Great post Nick. I was not aware of the numbers on Chase. I am totally with you on being giddy about this team and where it is headed. I also agree that this is the best we have looked since the 90′s.

  • Jim Harper

    If Geno Smith accidentally ran over Micah, would that be genocide?

    • micah stephenson

      Anybody ever tell you “you look like the dad off of The Family Guy” LOL.

      • Danny W

        Peter Griffin!

      • Jim Harper

        I knew that would wake you up!

      • Chief Hokie

        Shut up Meg.

    • sidibeke

      That’s pretty funny.

      • Jim Harper

        Thanks!

    • berttheclock

      With a bit of fratricide thrown in, as well.

  • micah stephenson

    Sorry im late boys!!! Well at least we dont have to spend too much on GENO SMITH! GENO SMITH! GENO SMITH!

  • http://twitter.com/EdMaldo1 Don Quijote

    Micah, u have a fan here. I don’t want Geno but I get a laugh when u react to others and get the forum fired up. Keep it up.

  • KCMikeG

    So is Daniel a better prospect than Geno for QBOTF?

    • Jim Harper

      They still could draft Geno (nobody tell Micha) and groom him as the #3. Whatever they do I am certain they will get it right.

      • http://twitter.com/RusselAzul Russel Azul

        Why draft Geno making us have 5 QBs? 3 to develop and 2 that could start? I get that it is a better situation than last year, yes, but it would be wasting the pick. Really it would

      • micah stephenson

        The # 3! Lol. Cmon dude. Lol. This dude is funny. Lol

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      Geno has better upside, Daniel is more proven and also a guy we don’t necessarily have to commit to long term. $3 million a year isn’t the same sacrifice as a 1st round pick. I’m not saying Daniel is as good or better, but I feel a lot better about the Alex Smith trade knowing that we have a young gun in the bulllpen that we can develop and throw in there if Smith’s 2012 season was a fluke.

  • Jim Harper

    Remember that todays overpayment is tomorrows underpayment. Flacco just became the highest paid player in the NFL. He will lose that spot before he ever plays another game to Rodgers who the Pack has every intention of making him the highest paid. Also value is different for different teams depending on their needs. What the Chiefs value will become more clear down the road.

  • NicholasAlanClayton

    I don’t get the hysteria over Donnie Avery either. His hands are still a bit raw, but he was the only guy on the market that could fill the role of speedster other than Wallace who was never coming our way. He was the Rams’ number one receiver for years and was the number 2 in Indianapolis. We’re paying him an average of $2.85 million a year. That’s below market value given his history.

  • Jim Harper

    This is not related, but I was just the Chiefs website and watched a video about Will Shields. I was astonished at how much he looks like Bo Jackson. They could be twins! Really!

  • berttheclock

    If Pete Prisco and the over rated Walterfootball are confused on the Daniel pickup, then, I say excellent pickup.
    By the way, some folk forget Avery was off for over a year with an injury. When, Grigson signed him, he was very rusty.
    Schooled in the DC area, Nicholas? “Hail to the Barf and Blue” by any chance in Foggy Bottom?