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2017 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Quarterbacks

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:12 am    Post subject: 2017 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Quarterbacks Reply with quote

The little chart below is a depth chart excerpt from the 2017 KC Chiefs Skeleton Depth Chart linked in the database. Throughout the analysis we will use that (continuously updated) chart as a reference point for our considerations.

Color Codes:

black: 2016 player
bold: under contract through 2017 (in italics: status not confirmed)
violet: 2016 Practice Squad player
red: Free Agent
green: Draft Pick

QB - Smith, Foles, Bray

Other Players: Stave

A General Look at the Unit:
This unit is ready for a major shake-up. While Smith is under contract through 2018, Foles contract for 2017 is a bogus one. No team (other than those desperate for someone able to throw a football for more than 25 yards without hurting himself) will pay 10.75 M$ for a backup QB. Bray is under contract for 2017 as well - but did he show enough to take over the #2 spot? Stave remains an unknown. All things considered, the Chiefs may have to have a very close look at the pivotal position of the team.

The Guys Under Contract:
Alex Smith is who he is. But is he really? May be he's the guy Reid wants him to be? I have no clue. But one thing is for sure: His inconsistency in performance is a concern. One week he's on fire - downfield, on screens ... the next week nothing seems to work. I consider him a guy who needs a game plan, a general setup to work. If that setup is provided, he's the best guy under center you can wish for (other than Tom Brady). If it doesn't work, he's not the guy to turn the game around on his own. I think a less conservative style in playcalling may elevate him above his current level - but he's Reid's guy, not the other way round. All said and done: There's no way he won't be the starting QB next year other than a serious injury.
Nick Foles got a chance to show his skills when Smith went down with a "non-concussion". He did. And I consider that backup level skills. A bigger arm, but he's not the guy Reid would wish for under center for a longer term. I don't think he fits the system - he needs a vertical approach of offense. I understand his season at KC as a "Show Me" season - and the Chiefs may be well positioned to trade him off on a decent one year, 10.75 M$, no guarantees contract to a QB needy team after the draft.
Tyler Bray remains the highly touted prospect without any serious proof of his skills. The Chiefs kept him around on a two year contract - but is he the guy they'd put their trust in backing up Smith full time? I have no clue.
Joel Stave is a name I read but never heard of. There may be a reason why he's on the PS right now.

The Guys in Red:
Noone there - the Chiefs bring back the full crew.

Cap Considerations:
Smith's cap hit actually goes down by about 1 M$ next year. He remains a middle-of-the-pack salary starting QB, if you take out the Rookie players. His contract could be used to clear a bit more cap by extension or converting base pay into a signing bonus. Foles would be, as already mentioned, grossly overpaid as a backup, thus this contract will not stand (with the Chiefs at least). Bray will count 1.2 M$ against the cap, so his numbers won't be a factor when deciding his fate.

Overall Assessment:
Smith will be the starting QB next year, Foles will most likely be gone. Bray may or may not stay as the number three, if he's ready to become the primary backup remains to be seen - he could also be the odd man out at the end of Training Camp.
The situation is well suited to bring in Smith's potential successor via the draft with the possibility to develop him over two years behind Smith. The other option, especially if the team considers keeping Smith beyond 2018, is to bring in a mid-level backup to compete with Bray for the #2 role. I don't think Foles will re-do his contract to stay with the team. Looking at the QB class I'll go with the second option for now, but expect the Chiefs to bring in the usual late round QB.

Matt Nagy is an absolute unknown to me. His impact on the QBs - I don't really have a feel. The Chiefs for decades have been unable to develop young guys, and Bray, Murray and others that came and went didn't make any big splash in the League. Smith came in well rounded, but his inconsistency has been a trademark over the past years without Nagy and his guys being able to solve the issue. I don't expect a change to be made here.


QB - Smith, mid-level FA, Bray, Stave, late round draft pick
Be it known that this day, January 4, be known as Reid Friday from now until ... well, as long as it lasts ...

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