Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Chiefs should set Cassel free

Matt Cassel

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel wears a cap with ear flaps as he warms up before an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


The Chiefs keep Matt Cassel hanging on.

As Adam Schefter of ESPN explained it earlier today on Twitter, the Chiefs still hope to trade their former starter. Meanwhile, Cassel’s opportunities as a free agent are drying up.

With the Cardinals signing Drew Stanton, Arizona’s interest in Cassel likely has evaporated. Which leaves the Vikings and the Buccaneers.

If either team signs a backup quarterback elsewhere, Cassel will have only one obvious destination if/when he’s free. Which means he’ll have no leverage.

While the Chiefs aren’t compelled to let Cassel walk, at some point it becomes the right thing to do. New coach, new G.M., new quarterback(s). Why not let the holdover go, when he’s clearly not part of the plans?

Part of the problem is that Cassel’s contract contains no provision that forces the Chiefs to make a quick decision. Former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was promptly cut on Tuesday because of a $3 million payment due Wednesday. Likewise, Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil’s $12 million salary becomes fully guaranteed as of Saturday.

With contracts being negotiated now, agents should keep in mind the value of forcing early decisions in future years. If Cassel’s deal had a provision like that, he’d already be gone.