There isn't a choice here. It's a no-brainer. The Chiefs must make a statement to their fanbase and put a claim on recently-waived quarterback Kyle Orton.
It's a shame things have gotten this ugly, that the addition of an average quarterback who's lost his starting job twice in his career could be Scott Pioli's best move all year. But this is where we are now.
The reasons are obvious. We all saw Tyler Palko against the NFL's worst-ranked defense Monday night, right? With Cassel out and Pioli's inability to obtain a backup with NFL experience, virtually anyone would qualify as an improvement.
But that's not it. Orton has an arm Chiefs fans haven't seen since Elvis Grbac (that's right, I said it), and was simply a victim of Tebow-mania in Denver. He can win. And that's important, especially if you're Todd Haley.
We know what got us here. Arrogance on both Pioli and Haley's part have allowed the Chiefs roster to be completely exposed. The offseason was a virtual waste, and the injuries have simply been a symptom of an overall status-quo mentality.
The proof is there. If things were different, Jackie Battle, Sabby Piscitelli, and Leonard Pope wouldn't be embarrassing themselves on national-television every week, and Orton (or a capable backup of the like) would have already been on the roster.
That is, of course, if the Chiefs want to win.
Last season, the Packers overcame a record number of players going on injured-reserve to win the Super Bowl. Even MVP Aaron Rodgers missed playing time.
Simply put, good teams don't get caught up in the mediocrity of winning a sub-par division and then getting embarrassed at home — twice — to end their season. The Chiefs did just that, and sit at 4-6 with many of the same problems that ended their season last January.
One of them is/was Matt Cassel, whose season is officially over. Now is the time to gain some perspective.
Forget about developing Palko or rookie Ricky Stanzi — at least for now. With Orton, the Chiefs could entertain the possibility of making things interesting the rest of the way. The team is still just two games out of first-place.
And by acquiring Orton, the Chiefs front-office and fans alike could finally get a glimpse of what the team's passing-attack and talented receiving-corpse would look like with a quarterback that can actually throw the ball down the field.
Even if it's not long-term, Orton's play could help convince Pioli that Cassel is simply not the answer in Kansas City.
Money isn't a factor. The Chiefs, currently playing their third-consecutive season with the lowest or second-lowest payroll in the league, would owe Orton less than $2MM for the rest of this season.
It's a win-win. If it works, the Chiefs will have returned to respectability and given themselves another option at quarterback for next season.
If it doesn't, they can cut him and draft a quarterback in April.
Well, you know... they better do that anyway.