Cassel has a big deal to play up to

The Kansas City Star has an interesting look at Matt Cassel and his contract situation.

CasselCasselCassel’s base salary of $11.75 million will make him the third highest paid quarterback in the NFL in 2010 behind Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, if Favre returns.

Yes, we know that Cassel has not shown he is worthy of being in that type of company. But the Chiefs set themselves and Cassel up for this type of scrutiny when they gave him a $40 million contract last summer after acquiring him from New England.

The jury is still very much out on Cassel.

He struggled to find success in his first season in Kansas City after playing well for the Patriots as an injury replacement for Tom Brady in 2008. Cassel had much more to work with in New England than in Kansas City and it showed.

Before Cassel, who was the 25th rated quarterback in the NFL in 2009, is considered a flop in Kansas City, he needs more time and more weapons. Kansas City must beef up its offensive line and receiving crew this offseason. Cassel, who is not very mobile in the first place, was under pressure all last season and he was the victim of several dropped passes.

Once Kansas City improves, Cassel should improve as well. He will also benefit from a full season of Jamaal Charles in the backfield. Cassel may never play up to his contract, but don’t give up on him quite yet.