With three quarterbacks under contract for 2011, the Chiefs situation under center is beginning to come into focus. The final touches to the cast, however, remain uncertain.
A developmental quarterback is in place with fifth-round draft pick
Much of the uncertainty surrounds the future of
Croyle is currently without a contract for 2011 and the Chiefs plans to re-sign the veteran remain in question. The uncertainty created by the NFL labor situation doesn’t aid the matter any and
Regardless of Croyle’s free agent designation when the league year resumes, the Chiefs are likely to follow one of four scenarios when rounding out the club’s quarterback cast for 2011.
Scenario #1: Chiefs re-sign Croyle
If the Chiefs re-sign Croyle, furious competition ensues for the rights to be Cassel’s primary backup. It’s a position that Croyle has held with little challenge since 2009, but Palko got a sniff of the number two job late last season.
Croyle’s return would give the Chiefs an experienced reserve that already understands the playbook and can give effective show-team looks in practice. The longer the off-season drags without organized team activities (OTAs), the more valuable reserves like Croyle become.
Scenario #2: Croyle goes and the Chiefs add another new face
Regardless of what his free agency status may become, there are a number of ways that Croyle and the Chiefs could part ways. If that happens, the Chiefs might opt to bring in an experienced veteran to compete for the primary backup job.
There should be a number of options, from Billy Volek to Chad Pennington, if the Chiefs want to pursue that route. Check out NFL.com’s unofficial list of potential 2011 free agents HERE.
Outside of injury, adding an undrafted rookie doesn’t appear likely at the moment.
Scenario #3: Croyle goes and the Chiefs keep status quo
In this scenario, Palko and Stanzi would battle for the job directly behind Cassel. Without a fourth quarterback to split snaps, each backup would get plenty of time on coaches’ film.
Initially, a move such as this would show confidence in Palko’s development and Stanzi’s learning curve.
There’s also a bail-out option to this scenario. A condensed list of free agents would still be available if either player disappointed during the preseason.
Scenario #4: Chiefs keep two quarterbacks
Any of the previous scenarios could play out with the Chiefs ultimately deciding to keep just two quarterbacks. Head Coach Todd Haley chose this route for much of 2010 before Palko received a promotion from the practice squad on December 8th.
For this scenario to occur, outside of injury, it would likely require Stanzi putting together an impressive preseason.
Speaking of Developing Quarterbacks…
The Chiefs selection of Stanzi had been a long time coming and, as we reviewed last week, could signal an overall change in the Chiefs draft philosophy.
After selecting just two quarterbacks from 1998-2010, GM Scott Pioli likes the idea of drafting a quarterback each year. Doing so just might help the Chiefs break a nasty streak.
Incredibly, the Chiefs have never drafted a quarterback who has thrown more career touchdowns than interceptions. Here’s the entire list.
All-Time Quarterbacks Drafted By Chiefs
|1983||Todd Blackledge||1st||Penn State||46||29||38|
|1981||Bob Gagliano||12th||Utah State||32||17||27|
|1972||Dean Carlson||7th||Iowa State||1||0||1|
|1989||Mike Elkins||2nd||Wake Forest||1||0||1|
|1987||Doug Hudson||7th||Nicholls State||1||0||0|
|1988||Danny McManus||11th||Florida State||0||0||0|
|1976||Joe Bruner||13th||NE Louisiana||0||0||0|
*AFL Draft excluded