Matt Cassel: Chiefs Should Keep Ineffective QB on Bench for Remainder of Season

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 1, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Benched in the second half of last week's 28-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, many had speculated that the Kansas City Chiefs had finally reached the end of the Matt Cassel era.

Well, not so fast. According to ESPN's Bill Williamson, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel will not announce his decision whether to start Cassel or Brady Quinn against the Denver Broncos until Sunday. 

While it's unclear who will start (most think it will be Quinn), Cassel's performance this season certainly makes it clear that it should be Quinn's job to lose. 

Before we get started deriding Cassel, let's all stop with the crazy fan speculation about the Chiefs cutting him. The team owes him a guaranteed salary no matter what, and it's not like Cassel's some malcontent who will divide the locker room. 

Plus, I'm going to step out on a limb and say that Cassel knows he's not exactly on the MVP short list coming into Week 12.

What would cutting Cassel do besides unnecessarily humiliate him? Send a message? To whom? Most of the Kansas City staff and offense are likely to be purged in the offseason anyway. 

That being said, it's pretty disconcerting how dreadful Cassel has been in 2012.

Using Football Outsiders' DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) metric, Cassel was the worst among the 35 passers who have thrown 83 or more passes through Week 11. According to the DYAR measurements, Cassel had lost the Chiefs 427 yards that a replacement-level quarterback would have gained against similar opponents.

Just for reference, the second-worst quarterback, Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert, has been worth a negative 355 yards.

Think about this for a second. A completely objective statistic is saying that Cassel is 417 yards worse than Christian Ponder, whose negative 10 yards is the closest to replacement-level. 

All of those factors make starting Quinn an obvious decision. In fact, it's a little baffling that Crennel didn't stick to his original plan and reinsert Quinn as the starter when he was cleared to play last week. Then again, we're not in the business of knowing the internal reasoning behind Crennel's decisions.

Nonetheless, it's a fact that Quinn lacks savior qualities and the Chiefs offense is statistically no better with him. But sometimes change for the sake of change is a good thing. 

At this point, there is absolutely nothing to gain by bringing Cassel back into the lineup this season, barring major injuries. The offense is going nowhere with him, and fans have completely lost faith in the former Pro Bowler, as evidenced by their rather heinous decision to cheer when Cassel got injured earlier this season. 

It's time for the team to simply move on and use Quinn as the starter for the remainder of the season. All keeping Cassel in the lineup would do is further frustrate fans and embarrass Cassel as he helms one of the most hapless teams in the NFL

Even if Quinn is ineffective, third-stringer Ricky Stanzi is waiting in the wings and should get the next opportunity if it arises. The second-year quarterback has yet to throw a pass in the NFL, but he was brilliant at Iowa and certainly couldn't hurt the playoff hopes of a team that's 1-9 coming into this week.

All told, this is a marriage destined to end sooner than later. Kansas City would just be better off ending it in a dignified way with Cassel on the bench rather than him getting vitriolically booed on a weekly basis.

Bench Cassel, start whoever and let's just all move on with our lives.