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Old 07-15-2009, 12:34 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Babb: Chiefs sign QB Cassel to multi-year deal

Chiefs sign QB Cassel to multi-year deal
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

The decision has been made, the contract is signed, and the Chiefs have their potential franchise quarterback locked up for the long haul.

Kansas City signed Matt Cassel, a 27-year-old passer with a mountain of expectations ahead and a grain of experience behind him, to a multi-year contract that makes him the team’s face well into the next decade.

“I am honored and humbled,” Cassel said, “by the faith that the Chiefs organization has displayed in me.”

Faith is what the Chiefs appear to have plenty of in their new quarterback and how he’ll handle shouldering the praise and the criticism of a team deprived of recent success and a fan base starved for progress. Before taking over for Tom Brady in the New England Patriots’ first game of 2008, Cassel hadn’t started a game since 1999, his senior season at California’s Chatsworth High School.

It had been a long time for the 6-foot-4 right-hander, sitting at the University of Southern California behind a pair of Heisman Trophy winners and, after being a seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2005, behind two-time Super Bowl MVP Brady. Then Brady was injured, Cassel won 11 games, was traded in March to the Chiefs, and now he’s Kansas City’s man for a lot of years.

The Chiefs didn’t release contract terms in an announcement Tuesday, and Cassel’s agent, David Dunn, was out of his California-based office and didn’t return phone messages. The deal reportedly will keep Cassel in Kansas City through the 2014 season and is worth up to $63 million, including $28 million guaranteed.

“Since Matt arrived in Kansas City,” Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said in a team-issued release, “he has embraced the team and the community. His work ethic, his ability and competitive presence is what we expect from our players.”

Cassel is about to learn a thing or two about expectations. He already was seen as an upgrade over several years of questionable Chiefs quarterbacks, but now he’s at the center of a high-stakes gamble that will influence the Chiefs’ immediate future and could define how Pioli is viewed as the team’s top decision-maker.

Pioli bypassed the option of allowing Cassel to play the 2009 season as an audition of sorts, fulfilling the one-year, $14.53 million contract he was due after New England made Cassel its franchise player before the trade. If Cassel couldn’t handle the pressure of shouldering the team’s load, it would have been an expensive but low-risk way to find out Cassel’s measure. Instead, the Chiefs are taking their chances on Cassel, and a man who has walked a similar path said Tuesday that Kansas City’s confidence in the young quarterback will pay dividends.

Rich Gannon is an NFL analyst now, but he was once a stifled quarterback, too, stuck on the Chiefs’ bench behind Elvis Grbac in the late 1990s. Gannon signed with Oakland after the 1998 season, later taking the Raiders to a Super Bowl and being named MVP in 2002. He said the Raiders’ faith, after dealing with the Chiefs’ uncertainty, gave him the confidence to become an elite passer.

“It wasn’t so much the money,” Gannon said. “It was more that it was finally my football team. I was able to stand up and speak out loud and take control of a team. That’s really critical. It has to be your team. You can’t have two guys going back and forth, and that’s what the Chiefs have had.

“That’s really what has held that team back.”

Gannon said he saw all he needed from Cassel last year when the youngster filled in for Brady, doing it with the poise of a longtime starter. Gannon said he wouldn’t have been surprised if Cassel had wilted under the pressure of being Brady’s fill-in on a team with yearly Super Bowl expectations, but Cassel just kept on rolling.

“You’re looking at a guy who’s young, who has proven just in one year of play that he is very capable,” Gannon said.

Gannon is among a long list of Chiefs passers who have fallen short of being Kansas City’s long-term answer at quarterback. Gannon hasn’t forgotten that former Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer passed over Gannon and elected to start Grbac after a long absence, at a time when, Gannon said Tuesday, Grbac “wasn’t prepared” for the responsibility. Other than a few temporary flashes along the way, Gannon said, the Chiefs haven’t possessed an elite, long-term quarterback since Len Dawson retired in 1975.

“Trent Green was probably the best chance that they had,” Gannon said.

Now, after so many years and so many failed experiments, the Chiefs have another chance to cash in on potential, same as Cassel already did when he signed that contract. Gannon admitted Tuesday that Pioli and the Chiefs are gambling, but Gannon said Kansas City made the right play.

“It’s smart,” he said. “You have to go out there and get your franchise quarterback. It might be premature to start calling Matt Cassel a franchise quarterback. But it’s one of the critical pieces of the puzzle.”
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:01 AM   #2
Stryker Stryker is offline
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I am glad that this contract ordeal is done. Time to move forward. I do agree that this is a HUGE gamble but I pray that it pays off like the Kurt Warner saga in St. Louie several years ago. For the record, I was ALWAYS a Gannon fan and regardless of Grbac's SB ring, Gannon was the BETTER QB choice for KC at that time.

to a brighter future than the misery of the recent past!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:27 AM   #3
KCChiefsMan KCChiefsMan is offline
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well, this is the guy. May as well lock him up.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:47 AM   #4
Fruit Ninja Fruit Ninja is offline
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Cant be worse then the previous 40 years. So what the **** ever. lol Bring it on.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:47 AM   #5
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“Since Matt arrived in Kansas City,” Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said in a team-issued release, “he has embraced the team and the community. His work ethic, his ability and competitive presence is what we expect from our players.”

That right there is good enough for me.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:34 AM   #6
Kerberos Kerberos is offline
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http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=210345


We signed him to TWO multi year contracts?
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:32 AM   #7
Rausch Rausch is offline
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We signed him to TWO multi year contracts?
Wow.

His fun parts must hang low and weigh heavy...
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:35 AM   #8
Rausch Rausch is offline
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That right there is good enough for me.
Nein.

If you're talking about BJ's, pizza, or beer I'd agree.

This is ****ing football. CHIEFS football.

I want to win.

Postseason.

AFC CHAMPIONCHIP.

SUPER-****-YOU-BOWL with ring and silver Lombardi chalice included...
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"He had no teeth, and he was slobbering all over himself. I'm thinking, 'You can have your money back, just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant." I can't tell you how badly I wanted out of there."
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I wish I always ended up at gay bars.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:05 AM   #9
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Originally Posted by Kerberos View Post
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=210345


We signed him to TWO multi year contracts?
different article
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:05 AM   #10
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well, this is the guy. May as well lock him up.
How do you know that? I kind of wish we waited until at least midway through this season... how do we know that his working attitude isn't just a product of him wanting a good contract? I'm betting he gets injured right at the beginning of the season now. Weeks 3 and 4 will bring a lot of pressure and I'm betting he goes down one of those weeks.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:27 AM   #11
Bwana Bwana is offline
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I just hope we can pick up another lineman or two before the season starts, or he is going to get killed. Another WR wouldn't hurt either. Right now I hate to say it, but I don't think we have the tools for him to get the job done.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:33 AM   #12
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Roster probably means 2009 is going to be Trent Green circa 2001. Let's hope 2010 and beyond is Trent Green 2002 and on, minus the career ending concussion.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:13 AM
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:51 AM   #13
Just Passin' By Just Passin' By is offline
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How do you know that? I kind of wish we waited until at least midway through this season... how do we know that his working attitude isn't just a product of him wanting a good contract? I'm betting he gets injured right at the beginning of the season now. Weeks 3 and 4 will bring a lot of pressure and I'm betting he goes down one of those weeks.
Pioli has been around Cassel from the very beginning of Cassel's NFL career. It's very likely that Pioli has formed an opinion about Cassel's work ethic and personality independent of any 'contract drive' motivation you might assign during the course of this offseason. It's not as if this is just some guy off the streets getting thrown cash for just showing up.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:58 AM   #14
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I just hope we can pick up another lineman or two before the season starts, or he is going to get killed. Another WR wouldn't hurt either. Right now I hate to say it, but I don't think we have the tools for him to get the job done.
I bet you are right-we will be bringing in some folks-camp cuts and such.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:59 AM   #15
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Pioli has been around Cassel from the very beginning of Cassel's NFL career. It's very likely that Pioli has formed an opinion about Cassel's work ethic and personality independent of any 'contract drive' motivation you might assign during the course of this offseason. It's not as if this is just some guy off the streets getting thrown cash for just showing up.
Yep I don't think Pioli is the gambling type at all-yes there is always risk-but I think this is a great signing.
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