The Chiefs may stand to lose Chase Daniel this offseason, given Daniel’s desire to be a starter and his impressive performances in limited duty.
General manager John Dorsey knows this all too well, it appears.
“I think Chase is a very competitive player,” Dorsey said. “I think we were very lucky to have him as our No. 2 quarterback.
“At the right price, I’d try to retain him. But I understand the business of the game of football, he’s gonna wanna be able to see if he can start. I do believe he’s capable of doing that.”
All of which makes it particularly interesting that Dorsey says he believes the Chiefs’ backup quarterback for 2016 is currently on the roster — hinting that fourth-year pro Tyler Bray or third-year pro Aaron Murray have a legitimate opportunity to earn the position this summer, though neither has attempted a pass in a regular-season NFL game.
“With Tyler Bray, he’s been in the system for three years,” Dorsey said. “Unfortunately, he had the injury in January. But he’s made great strides this year. And now we have Aaron Murray — he’s been in the system for two years.
“And the very first and most important thing in the system is, you’ve got to be able to know the system, and those guys know the system. So there’s a degree of security from the coaching staff, from the personnel staff, that those guys could step in and do the job they’re supposed to do. And that’s why there’s confidence there.”
Dorsey quickly added that appreciation for their development wouldn’t keep the Chiefs from drafting a quarterback this year. The many years he spent in the Green Bay Packers’ front office under Pro Football Hall of Famer Ron Wolf taught Dorsey that you can never have too many talented quarterbacks on the roster.
“I’ve been taught, if we go through the draft board, if there’s a quarterback in the draft, you know what, we’ll take a shot at one of them,” Dorsey said.
And Dorsey couldn’t confirm the Chiefs wouldn’t pursue a veteran free-agent quarterback, either.
“Well, you never rule anything out,” Dorsey said.
The answer seemed to play into an increasingly popular school of thought that has Kansas City as an ideal landing spot for Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, whose career has fallen on hard times since a magical rookie season in 2012.
Some of that has to do, somewhat, with Daniel’s possible departure. But most of that has to do with the presence of Andy Reid, a respected coach who has a knack for getting the most out of talented quarterbacks.
Chiefs starter Alex Smith, for example, was widely seen as a bust early in his career, but the former No. 1 overall draft pick has improved every year in Kansas City and was chosen as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2013 and 2015.
“Andy’s a wonderful coach,” Dorsey said in a general way, when asked about Griffin’s possible fit in Kansas City. “He just has a way of working with young men and young men believe in him.
“With regards to the player you talked about, I’m really not obligated to talk about him because he’s still with another football team. But I think with Andy (Reid) what he does, he teaches them the basic fundamentals. He’ll see the flaws within that person, try to break them down and build them back up. Then all of a sudden he begins to sit there and grill them on the X’s and O’s of the game until it’s embedded in their head.”
But no matter where the Chiefs — who typically like to enter training camp with four quarterbacks — get Daniel’s replacement if he leaves, that player will need some basic traits.
“I think in Andy’s system, you better be pretty smart,” Dorsey said. “But then, you better be competitive, and you better have a little bit of pride. But then you take those athletic traits that the great ones have, and you factor that into the equation as well.
“That’s the feet in the pocket, being able to move. The accuracy downfield, the big, strong arm. Those are just a few of the things it takes to succeed.”
Dorsey reiterated he’d love to retain Daniel, who won him over with his competitive zeal, intelligence and knowledge of the game. But Dorsey also knows the Chiefs might be forced to bring in another quarterback to compete with Murray and Bray.
“At a certain point, if he’s getting offered starter money, I’m not going to be able to retain him,” said Dorsey, who noted that he had discussions with Daniel’s agent on Thursday. “But I’m gonna fight like the dickens right now to see if I could retain him at my value.”