With Sam Bradford signing a two-year contract for $36 million to remain an Eagle, the assumption was he would return as the team’s starting quarterback. … (Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in March, today Sam Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, making Chase Daniel a legitimate QB2 option in 2QB fantasy leagues).
And just like that, Chase Daniel is the Eagles' new starting QB.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 3, 2016
Enter Chase Daniel
However, with a new head coach in the form of Doug Pederson, and the Eagles signing Pederson’s backup signal caller, Chase Daniel, from his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, you never know if the starting job might become open to a quarterback competition.
Talk all offseason centered on Pederson and Daniel reuniting in Philadelphia, with the team letting Bradford walk and turning over the keys to the offense to Daniel. Half of that theory came true, with Daniel signing a three-year, $21 million contract with the Eagles yesterday. The other half of the equation never came to fruition when Bradford re-signed.
As the Rotoworld blurb regarding Daniel’s signing noted, it’s interesting that Daniel’s deal (three years) is longer than the one Bradford (two years) signed. It might not mean much in the long run, but it’s something to keep in mind when it comes to 2QB dynasty leagues.
Even though Bradford remains an Eagle, and is most likely tabbed to be the team’s QB1, that’s no guarantee. If Bradford does start from Day 1, it’s also no guarantee he starts all 16 games.
Since entering the league in 2010, Bradford has started a full complement of games in a season twice. He missed the second half of the 2013 season and all of 2014 because of ACL injuries. In his first season as an Eagle he was sidelined for two games.
An Eagle Eye on Depth Charts
Astute 2QBers know the importance of being up-to-date when it comes to quarterback depth charts across the NFL, as you never know when a backup signal caller will become a team’s QB1, which could happen with Daniel.
The former Chiefs and Saints backup quarterback caught my eye when Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com’s Around The League tabbed Daniel as a ‘Making the Leap‘ candidate in 2013, upon his arrival in Kansas City.
In his write-up, Rosenthal mentioned how Smith had missed a significant amount of time due to injuries, and that Daniel would get “a shot or three to play in in 2013.” Adding, “That’s just how the NFL usually works.” The numbers back that up. Last season, we saw 53 different quarterbacks start at least one game.
Rosenthal concluded his article by stating how Chase Daniel’s skill set was suited for the quick-strike offense of Andy Reid. Daniel now finds himself in an offense of a Reid protegé.
During his Kansas City stint, Daniel wound up starting two games in three years. Below are the game logs for each start:
- 2013: 21/30, 200 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 59 rushing yards (17.90 fantasy points – QB10)
- 2014: 16/27, 157 passing yards, 16 rushing yards (7.88 fantasy points – QB26)
The tiny two-game sample size doesn’t tell us a whole lot, other than Daniel could possibly put up decent fantasy points if given an opportunity to start. But you could say that about any quarterback, really. In 2015, 39 signal callers put up a top-12 fantasy performance. Including Geno Smith, who didn’t even start the week he was a top-tier fantasy quarterback.
It’s all about opportunity though, and Daniel landed in one of the better situations outside of signing with a team that would have named him the Day 1 starter. Daniel is only one half of the equation though; the other is Pederson.
The Pederson Pedigree
The now-Eagles Head Coach started his NFL coaching career in Philadelphia, where he was an Offensive Quality Control Coach for two years and was then promoted to Quarterbacks Coach for another two seasons.
When Reid resurfaced in Kansas City he brought Pederson along as his Offensive Coordinator, and Alex Smith as his starting quarterback.
Playing in the Reid/Pederson offense, Smith had a career renaissance, and became a 2QB fantasy stalwart. In three seasons, Smith was the fantasy QB13 in 2013 (253.22 fantasy points), the fantasy QB19 in 2014 (220 fantasy points), and the fantasy QB15 in 2015 (271.24 fantasy points).
Smith set career highs in completions (308), attempts (508), passing yards (3,313), passing touchdowns (23), rushing yards (498), and fantasy points (271.24) in the last three years.
Below are two snapshots of Smith’s career via the RotoViz Games Split App:
The first graph is of Smith’s San Francisco career; the second of his last three seasons in Kansas City. Could Daniel make a similar leap in Philadelphia?
The biggest difference between Smith’s tenure in Kansas City and Daniel’s in Philadelphia is that Smith was the clear-cut starter; Daniel doesn’t have such security in Philadelphia.
Giving Bradford $36 million over the next two years assumes he has job security, at least to start, and Daniel’s best chance to take control of the offense is either via injury or out-playing Bradford in the preseason.
It’s not out of the question that Daniel emerges the starter though.
Schefter on #Eagles QB battle: "Chase Daniel's chances of winning this job should not be diminished or discounted."
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 9, 2016
The Eagles will be giving new QB Chase Daniel every chance to wrest the starting job from Sam Bradford, per source. Not signed as a backup.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 9, 2016
2016 Outlook for Chase Daniel
At this point in the offseason, it’s too early to tell what will happen with the Eagles starting quarterback situation. If Chase Daniel were to wrestle the job away from Bradford late in the offseason, it could lead to him becoming a potential value pick in redraft leagues later this summer, as he’s an unknown fantasy commodity. You can sometimes get a discount on such players.
You could also attempt to acquire Daniel in 2QB dynasty leagues, but the price might be more expensive now than in a month or two, after the signing has worn off and Bradford is talked up by Eagles coaches and executives as the team’s starter.
Playing in a familiar offense and under a coach that believes in him, Chase Daniel could pull of a Smith-esque fantasy run if given the chance. We just have to wait and see whether that happens or not. For now, Daniel shoots up the board of backup quarterbacks to monitor in 2QB leagues.