The Kansas City Chiefs signed quarterback Nick Foles this past week. Anytime a team adds a new quarterback to their roster it always sends their fans into a frenzy. No other position is more important and therefore no other position is more discussed and debated. In this author’s opinion the signing of Foles was a smart move for a team hoping to make a Super Bowl run. The departure of Chase Daniel meant that the Chiefs were without an experienced back up quarterback. Kansas City now has an experienced starter that is familiar with Andy Reid’s offense on their bench should something happen to Alex Smith. The other thing this move did was confirm to me what I already suspected, that the Chiefs quarterback of the future is not currently on their roster.
Look, I don’t mean for this post to be a knock on the collective group of Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray, and the recently drafted Kevin Hogan. I’m not saying that these three are disappointments or that one of them couldn’t even develop into a solid NFL player. What I am saying is that the Chiefs don’t currently have “that guy”, a young quarterback that the team believes is the future of the position. A player with undeniable ability that the team is banking on building around going forward.
Don’t get me wrong, this is nothing to be ashamed of. Every team in the NFL is looking for one. At least the Chiefs have a reliable veteran starter in Alex Smith, a lot of teams don’t have that either. Still, when Andy Reid came to Kansas City there was an overwhelming hope amongst fans that his arrival would bring with it the end of the Chiefs abysmal run of developing their own star quarterback. Kansas City is in the midst of an almost unprecedented streak without winning a game with a quarterback that they drafted. Reid was (and still is) seen as a “quarterback whisperer” that is great at developing quarterbacks. When he arrived most of us assumed that those days of failing to develop a quarterback were numbered but then they went out and acquired yet another veteran starter in Alex Smith.
Once again, don’t get me wrong, I think KC made the right call in bringing in Smith and am even 100% good with the contract they gave him. I think KC can win with Smith, but this isn’t about this season or even next. This is about the Chiefs FINALLY drafting and developing their own franchise quarterback. Andy Reid was supposed to be the guy to finally do it and the signing of Nick Foles tells me that he doesn’t believe that he has that guy on the roster right now. While any of the trio of Bray, Murray, and Hogan still could grow into a starter, I firmly believe that if Reid thought one of these guys was “that guy” he would have wanted him in the number two spot on the depth chart this season.
I understand that having an experienced player at the back up quarterback spot is extremely valuable on a team with high expectations this season but I believe that if Reid saw a future star in one of his current young projects he would have been more comfortable with them backing up Smith. After all, before a player can be trusted to be the starting quarterback he has to be trusted to be the backup. As of today, it doesn’t look like Reid has that trust in any of his developmental guys.
Keep in mind that Reid is the same coach that was able to turn guys like Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feely into desired NFL commodities via being his number two quarterback. Turns out that Reid didn’t believe in them enough to make them his quarterback of the future (hence why he didn’t keep them) but he still trusted them enough to be his number two guy. Following this line of thought it stands to reason that Reid doesn’t currently see any of his young guys as even being on Kevin Kolb or A.J. Feely’s level.
It’s not like the Chiefs have invested a great deal in their developmental quarterbacks. It feels like they have since they have three of them, but all that KC has invested in them is a couple of fifth round draft picks. For comparison, the Chiefs spent a fifth round pick to acquire Ben Grubbs from the Saints a little over a year ago and he’s no longer on the roster. We have a tendency to build up our favorite team’s young quarterbacks, but any other fifth round pick that still wasn’t ready to even fill a primary back up position at this point would be universally seen as a possible cut when it comes time to trim the roster. Now it looks like that’s exactly what KC’s young quarterbacks could be (you also shouldn’t be surprised if one of them ends up with a mysterious injury that puts them on IR right before cuts).
There was a lot of buzz that the Chiefs may have had their eye on Paxton Lynch as their quarterback of the future in this past draft, but after the Broncos swooped in and picked him they opted to wait until the mid rounds to take a flier on Hogan. Alex Smith’s contract pretty much ensures that he’ll be the starter in Kansas City for this season and the next. That makes next year’s draft the perfect time for them to invest a high draft pick and go all in on a true quarterback of the future. It would give the draft pick a year to learn the system while Smith was still the unquestioned starter and then they could challenge for the job in 2017 when Smith’s guaranteed money is almost all paid out.
I’d love to see one of KC’s young quarterbacks shine in the coming preseason games and potentially elevate themselves to the position of Chiefs quarterback of the future. However, the signing of Nick Foles has dampened these hopes a little. So instead of keeping a close eye on the young quarterbacks in the preseason I’ll likely spend my time watching players that could contribute to the Chiefs making a Super Bowl run this season. After all, that’s the mindset that the Foles signing shows the Chiefs have. I’m excited about the possibilities of this season and for now that is enough to make me forget about how long its been since KC won a game with a quarterback that they drafted, but when draft season rolls around next spring I know what position will likely be at the top of my wish list.
So what do you think Addicts? Do you agree that the Foles signing shows that the Chiefs aren’t huge believers in any of their young quarterbacks? Am I reading way too much into things? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!