Philadelphia Eagles: Did Chase Daniel actually get good?

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

After spending the better part of a decade as a backup, was ex-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel’s Week 4 performance with the Chicago Bears fool’s gold?

When the Philadelphia Eagles signed Chase Daniel(s) to a three-year contract in 2016, it felt like good old fashion NFL nepotism.

Now granted, it wasn’t nepotism in the same way as the Los Angeles Clippers trading for Austin Rivers and then refusing to include Doc‘s son in a deal to acquire a then-good Carmelo Anthony per say, as as far as  I know Daniel has no familial relationship with anyone in the Eagles organization, but he did have a relationship with then-rookie head coach Doug Pederson, and that my friends may be worth more.

$21 million to be exact.

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On paper, it felt like a gross misallocation of funds to pay a second-to-third string backup quarterback with two career starts $7 million a season – especially with Sam Bradford slotted in at QB1 and eventually the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft – but that would be a misconstruction of the facts.

You see, Daniel wasn’t just signed to play quarterback. No, he was signed to help Pederson implement his scheme after two shared years in Kansas City – a regular ‘coach on the field’ if you will.

Much like Elton Brand with the Philadelphia 76ers, Howie Roseman and company generously compensated Daniel to help get players to buy into a new era of Eagles football, and to serve as a mentor for either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz depending on the draft.

That designation was made all the more obvious when Wentz was eventually elevated to Day 1 starter when Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for the pick eventually used to select Derek Barnett.

This reportedly disappointed Daniel, but it really shouldn’t have.

After an amicable split upon Nick Foles‘ return to the City of Brotherly Love, Daniel signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, where he appeared in one game with zero statistical production to show for it.

But much like in Philly, another Andy Reid disciple-turned-head coach needed a veteran with experience to implement his scheme and help along the career of a top-5 drafted rookie quarterback.

Onward to Chicago (on a two-year, $10 million deal).

And suddenly, Daniel looks like a new player.

Despite appearing in five games in 2018, going 1-1 in his two starts, Chicago’s first real taste of Daniel’s 33-year-old coming out party came in Week 4, when he took the place of a shoulder-injured Mitchell Trubisky and led the Bears to a division win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Granted, he was playing against Kirk Cousins, and only threw for 195 yards on 22 completions – leading the Bears to a 16-6 win – but unlike Trubisky, Daniel turned in a near-mistake free performance – a refreshing take when compared to the team’s usual volatility at QB.

Daniel was so competent that some questioned whether the Bears might actually be better off with the veteran journeyman at quarterback over their 25-year-old ‘franchise’ quarterback.

That’s just crazy.

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Now I get it, losing games due to a lack of execution can be disheartening – this is a Philadelphia Eagles blog after all – but the idea that Chase Daniel can maintain success over a long-term period is pretty ridiculous; he’s a career backup who will surely get exposed over a larger sample size.