When the Eagles re-signed Sam Bradford a few weeks ago, it seemed like Chase Daniel would not end up in Philadelphia. Then free agency started and the Eagles signed Doug Pederson's former quarterback to a fairly lucrative contract (max value $36 million) relative to a backup. While it may seem like the Eagles overpaid for a guy who potentially might never even play all that much, here's why the deal makes sense for the Birds. Get to know Daniel better via this question and answer exchange with Joel Thorman (@ArrowheadPride) of Arrowhead Pride.
1) Chase Daniel obviously didn’t get a lot of playing time in KC, but he did make two starts and played in the preseason. Based on that small sample size, what’s your impression of his ability? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
"Chase Daniel did a pretty good job in his two games with the Chiefs. He was similar to Alex Smith in that it was obvious he understood the offense and could consistently complete passes which is what its all about, right? Nothing was on the line in either game so it was a relatively pressure-free environment from that standpoint. Chase will know your offense and perform competently. Probably not way above or way below expectations."
2) Are Chiefs fans surprised that the Eagles paid Daniel so much money, especially after re-signing Sam Bradford?
"Yeah I am surprised that it's so much but Chase came to KC on what was a big backup quarterback contract back then (three years, $10 million). Doug Pederson knows him better than anyone and talked Howie Roseman into paying him that much. For better or worse, Pederson believes in him. Pederson's own history tells some of the story here. Pederson, as you know, was Andy Reid's first quarterback in Philly and played before Donovan McNabb. He was a veteran who know Reid's offense. Chase can be a valuable player behind the scenes in helping Sam Bradford and others quickly understand the offense. Pederson knows the value of that and it shows in this contract."
3) Let’s say the injury-prone Bradford gets hurt and Daniel has to start all 16 games in 2016. Do you think Daniel can be an effective long-term starter? How many games do the Eagles win with him?
"Bradford and Daniel are different players but I'm not sure the results would be all that different. It feels like with Bradford you're still hoping, six years later, that he'll turn into something more. The advantage with Daniel is that despite his few starts he feels like more of a sure thing. He will complete 60-something percent of his passes, manage the offense and won't implode. Daniel and the Eagles can be a .500 or better team. Whether he's a long-term answer, we're all guessing. I have no idea. I lean towards him being a middle of the road top 20 quarterback more than anything."
4) Let’s say you can only pick one quarterback. Would you rather have Bradford on his contract or Daniel on his contract? And why?
"With the contract, I'll take Chase because I think Chase + a couple of $5 million per year receivers or a couple of good linemen is as good as Bradford. I don't see the $11 million per year difference between these two. Bradford's ceiling is probably a little higher but so is his chance of injury. I know what Chase will give me and that's very, very valuable to a coach."
5) To what extent does Daniel have value as a good teammate and locker room guy?
"Chase Daniel was a total pro. There was a 100 percent chance he would be ready to play if Alex went down in any game. No question about it. When the Chiefs went to the playoffs in 2013 he was the one who organized team t-shirts with a motivational slogan for everyone (printed by his clothing company which ... the dude's a businessman ... I mean he's a business, man.) He was respected by everyone, including the media who went to him when we needed it. He was active on social media which led to fans connecting with him. The advantage here in KC is that Chase played college football just a couple hours away so there was a lot of history there with Mizzou fans. Credit Chase though for getting those Kansas fans on his side, too. Not an easy task."