In 2014, I was attending the college graduation of a friend when I heard the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Aaron Murray.
I was excited to hear the news. Murray threw for 13,166 yards in college and was the SEC’s all-time passing leader. He is ahead of second-place David Greene by almost 2,000 yards despite missing games his senior year. Alex Smith had just played amazing in a playoff loss and Chase Daniel was probably only going to be a career back-up so I was pumped that the Chiefs had drafted such a prolific player.
Murray had potential to be the quarterback of the future for the Chiefs, or so I thought. Kansas City held onto Daniel an extra year, even paying him $4 million to back up Smith for the 2016 season. It seems that Smith will probably quarterback the Chiefs for at least a few more years as well.
Now, Kansas City took Kevin Hogan and let Daniel go to the Philadelphia Eagles. It appears the Chiefs will probably have Murray and Bray compete for second string quarterback in 2016 as Alex Smith will continue to be the starter and Hogan will be the third-string/practice squad quarterback that they will prepare to possibly replace Smith.
I can’t help but wonder if Murray’s time with the Chiefs will be similar to teammate Tyler Bray, who also showed a lot of promise but needed some work coming out of Tennessee in 2013. I like Hogan, but will he end up being in the same boat as these two other quarterbacks?
This could be the case of how the NFL works for late-round picks. The only true chance you get is when the starter in front of you gets injured. I know as Chiefs fans we are pretty split when it comes to Smith on being the starting quarterback or if one of the backups should get a chance to win the starting job.
However, nobody wishes injury on Smith to see if Murray, Bray or Hogan can fill in the starting role and actually do a good job. There’s always the surefire Hall of Famer that only got his chance to start when Drew Bledsoe was injured.
The NFL is a tough business and the only reason Smith is even a Chief is his injury while he was a 49er. Only time will tell if Murray is the quarterback of the future, until that time comes we will probably only see him in preseason and garbage time conditions where the Chiefs might be so far up ahead that Reid doesn’t want to risk injury to Alex Smith so the backup goes in to play conservative and run the clock out.
I know Andy Reid loves collecting quarterbacks, maybe this will lead to Murray starting and maybe it won’t. Only time will tell.