Cassel could miss 2-4 weeks with MCL injury

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel is in jeopardy of missing Week 1 of the regular season after suffering an MCL injury in Kansas City’s most recent preseason game.

From Yahoo!

Cassel, who the Chiefs acquired in a trade with New England this offseason, was hurt Saturday night in an exhibition game against Seattle. The injury is not expected to require surgery because MCL injuries usually heal on their own.

However, the injury means Cassel could miss the Chiefs’ season opener at Baltimore on Sept. 13. If Cassel can’t play, Tyler Thigpen(notes) is expected to start the season. Thigpen, who had been the subject of trade rumors earlier this week, played in 14 games last season when the Chiefs went through injuries at quarterback. He finished the season with 18 touchdown passes, 12 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 76.0.

The fact that he won’t need surgery is good for the long-term status of the team, although it has to be disappointing for both Cassel and the Chiefs that he won’t be lining up under center in Week 1.

After a brutal start last season, Thigpen actually played well in the second half and offers Todd Haley starting experience. That doesn’t mean that Thigpen will fair well in Baltimore, but at least Haley doesn’t have to worry about trotting out a rookie QB in his team’s season opener.

One thing to note is that Thigpen has leapfrogged Brodie Croyle on the Chiefs’ depth chart. Croyle was the Week 1 starter last year and was once viewed as the long-term answer under center. His time as a starter definitely came to an end when the team acquired Cassel, although now it appears that even his time as a backup (at least in Kansas City) could be dwindling as well.

Obviously, this is worrisome for Cassel owners, but if you’re following our QBBC strategy, and drafted Cassel as part of a committee, you probably weren’t planning to use Cassel against the Ravens in Week 1 anyway. He should be able to play in Week 2 or Week 3 at the latest, so while his value is certainly hurt as a starting QB, he still holds similar value as a backup or a part of a committee.

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Chiefs sign Matt Cassel to new contract

According to a report by the Boston Globe, the Chiefs signed quarterback Matt Cassel to a six-year, $63 million contract, which also includes $28 million in guaranteed money. He’ll receive $40.5 million in the first three seasons.

Considering he has just 15 starts in his career, this is obviously a huge risk for the Chiefs. But he would have made $14.65 million this season had KC not signed him to an extension, so the deal is a bargain for the Chiefs, or at least for one season.

Ironically, Cassel will make more than Tom Brady and is now being paid like a top-5 quarterback. But if the offensive-minded Todd Haley can build upon the success that Cassel had in New England, then the financial risk will be worth the reward for the Chiefs.

That said, if Cassel fails miserably, this contract could put Kansas City in contract hell for the next couple of years. But what are they supposed to do? They’ve desperately needed a quarterback for years and parted with a second round pick to acquire him. The next step was to commit to him financially, so hopefully for them everything will pan out.

King would be surprised if Cassel is a Patriot in ‘09

In his latest addition of “Monday Morning Quarterback”, Peter King of writes that he would be surprised if Matt Cassel was a Patriot in 2009.

I’m surprised that a quarterback who played as well as Cassel did for the last 10 weeks of the season is being viewed by most people in the league as too risky to chart a long-term course with. It’s not often in free agency or in trade that a young quarterback with promise is available. And while I understand it’s a millstone around Cassel that he’d require probably two fairly high picks plus an average of $14 million-ish a year in a contract, I still think I’d rather have Cassel as my quarterback of the future than, say, Matthew Stafford. And the money’s not that much different.

The logical places for New England to trade Cassel are Kansas City (because Scott Pioli is the man who drafted him in 2005 in New England), Detroit (because the Lions have $36 million in cap room and three of the top 33 picks to play with), Tampa Bay (because the Bucs have $55 million in cap room and no QB of the future), Minnesota (because Brad Childress needs a long-term quarterback) and the 49ers (because their quarterback is named Shaun Hill). I don’t buy San Francisco or Minnesota because of the draft picks they’d have to give up, plus neither are cash-rich. The Lions don’t seem inclined to risk taking a quarterback they’re unsure of; ditto the Bucs.

That leaves Cassel’s old pal Pioli. I think Cassel and Todd Haley would make beautiful music together. The Hunt family wouldn’t grouse at the money. But I say no — not because Pioli doesn’t love the kid. I say no because of Pioli’s history. The Patriots took Tom Brady with the 199th pick in 2000. They took Cassel with the 230th pick in 2005. Let’s say the Patriots asked Kansas City for its second-round pick in 2009 and 2010. Pioli values picks in the thirties the way most team value picks in the teens. I’d be stunned if he did it. I think he’d trust Haley to pick a Josh Freeman in this draft in the third round, let’s say, and work with Freeman, Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen over the next couple of years and say, “Let the best man win.”

King kind of contradicts himself by saying he’d be surprised if Cassel remains a Patriot, then goes on in detail about how all of the leading candidates to acquire him won’t acquire him. But that’s not to say I disagree with anything he wrote.

Read the rest after the jump...

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