Amidst all this hype over Kurt Warner (or even Jay Cutler), another name has snuck into the conversation: Tyler Thigpen. Thigpen was drafted by the Chiefs in 2007 out of Coastal Carolina, and this past season put together a rather solid performance: 230/420, 54.8%, 2,608 yards, 18/12 TD/INT and a rating of 76.0. Not fantastic, but for a second year player, that's not too shabby.
Accordingly, in multiple threads, people have brought up Thigpen as a possible trade possibility. Oh yea, the Chiefs acquisition of Matt Cassel certainly added to the situation. Why would the Chiefs keep Thigpen around if they've got Cassel and his franchise tag contract (soon to be reworked I'd imagine)?
Well, I thought it was a good idea to do my due diligence and scare up some info about Tyler Thigpen for you, the readers. So, I approached one of the Thorman brothers over at Arrowhead Pride to get their thoughts on Thigpen. They've had a chance to check him out all year and have formed an opinion on the young man. It's good timing because they've written a couple posts about Thigpen including a "What's next" post and another about the potential QB competition. Of course, remember that this is only a second year pro we're talking about. This is mostly quoted with some adjustments for readability purposes:
We ran a version of a spread offense (aptly called the ArrowSpread around AP). Thigpen was in the shotgun just about every play. When a RB was in they lined up behind Thigpen in the gun (called the Pistol, it's on wiki).
From there it was similar to a lot of the other versions of the spread. Shorter passes, create space, allows Thigpen to use his mobility. We did this to capitalize on Thigpen's strength (mobility + experience in the spread at Coastal Carolina). Plus, our offensive line was absolutely terrible in a conventional offense and got 2 qbs (huard/croyle) knocked out of the game/season.
We just didn't have the personnel to have any sort of power running game (good idea to sign LJ to a $19 mill guaranteed deal right?) so I'm sure it could be incorporated. But our spread offense was born out of necessity not b/c it was necessarily the best.
I followed that info up with an email asking Thigpen could succeed as an under-center QB behind a solid running game (assuming the Gore-led running game bounces back). Given the struggles of shotgun-based QBs (Harrell and Brennan) in their transition, I figured this is an important issue to figure out:
Thigpen had a 54.8% completion in an offense that's supposed to minimize the amount of reads and time in the pocket. And we completely changed the offense midway through the season to accomodate him as quarterback. I have serious doubts that he can line up under center and be successful. If he could do it, then why did the Chiefs change everything around so much for him?
Not exactly a glowing endorsement. What do people think on this? Most of us haven't seen much of anything when it comes to Thigpen, so we kinda have to work with what we've got.
At the same time, I don't expect the Chiefs to want to move Thigpen at this point. Thigpen was a 7th round pick of the Vikings before being waived. His current contract (at least according to Rotoworld.com) owes a grand total of $1.01M over the next two season. If you had a decently solid backup QB, wouldn't you want to hold onto him given the major potential for injury in the NFL? At some point there was speculation of maybe a 4th round pick being sufficient to get Thigpen. If you're the Chiefs, I don't think you would make that deal. Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard are pretty crappy so why not stick with what you've got?
There are certainly arguments for making a run at him, but I don't think it comes close to outweighing the reasons to not try and trade for him. Financially it's attractive, but I'm not sure a guy in this specialized an offense is the right move at this point. Anybody disagree?