After finishing the season on injured reserve with a surgically-repaired passing and watching Kyle Orton start the final three games, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel is prepared to compete for the team's starting job, Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star reports.
"There’s competition every year," said Cassel. "If you play this position, there’s always competition. You’re competing against yourself, you’re competing against somebody else. Whoever they bring in, you always compete and you always have to go out and try to get better."
Franchised by the New England Patriots and traded to the Chiefs in 2009, Cassel has completed 57.2 percent of 1,212 pass attempts for 7,753 yards with 53 touchdowns and 32 interceptions in his 39 starts for the Chiefs. Cassel earned Pro Bowl honors in 2010 after a 3,116-yard season that included a nearly 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio as the Chiefs won the AFC West and returned to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
The Chiefs have already paid Cassel over $40 million in the first three seasons of his six-year, $63 million contract (actually a five-year, $48.5 million extension to his one-year franchise tag of $14.65 million) that includes a $5.75 million base salary and $7.575 million cap number in 2012.
Cassel and 2011 fifth-round pick Ricky Stanzi are the only quarterbacks signed for 2012, though Tyler Palko will be a restricted free agent. According to Teicher, Orton expects to move on and Cassel has received a vote of confidence from head coach Romeo Crennel.
"Matt Cassel has won here. We’ve been to a playoff with Matt Cassel," Crennel said this week. "I don’t think that Matt Cassel has fallen off the wagon overnight. I think he’s a good talent. He’s a good quarterback and he’s taken us to a playoff. So I anticipate that he can do it again."