Chase Daniel Stole Millions From the Lions

Chase Daniel.
Chase Daniel. / Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Chase Daniel is a bad in-game quarterback. His value for a franchise doesn't rest alone in what he can accomplish on the field, but it's fair to say the Detroit Lions have buyer's remorse after watching Daniel's performance against the Bucs today.

Daniel was putrid against a porous Tampa Bay secondary. After relieving an injured Matthew Stafford in the Lions' second series of the game, Daniel completed 13-of-18 passes for 86 yards and was sacked three times. He led the Lions to five total first downs and never got them in Bucs' territory.

It was so bad, he was pulled before the fourth quarter for undrafted free agent David Blough. All that against a defense that came into the game giving up 255.3 passing yards per game (24th in the NFL) and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 69.4 percent of their passes (30th in the NFL).

More than the numbers, though, the eye in the sky exposed Daniel as an inaccurate quarterback without the requisite arm talent needed to be successful in the NFL. He underthrew receivers, threw behind them, airmailed passes, and, perhaps most tellingly, was primarily limited to throwing short passes and screens.

Point being, if your coaches don't trust you to throw beyond 10 yards, there's a reason.

Daniel signed a three-year, $13 million contract with the Lions this offseason that included $5 million guaranteed and $3 million for this season. He was signed because he's a savvy veteran who can help his fellow quarterbacks prepare and improve on a weekly basis in the film room and on the whiteboard. However, as the backup, he was also signed to minimize the dropoff in play in a situation like this where Stafford got injured. He failed in that job.

It's not like this opportunity was unexpected for Daniel, either. Stafford has been playing through broken ribs since Week 14. He hurt his ankle against the Bucs, which is why he was pulled, but the fact is Daniel has been on high alert for at least two weeks. He still laid an egg.

Daniel has enjoyed a lucrative career as a backup, making about $38 million in 12 seasons. He's never been particularly good. His best seasons came with the Bears in 2018 and 2019 when he went 1-2 as a starter and completed 70 percent of his passes for 945 yards with six TDs and four INTs.

The Lions knew what they were getting when they signed Daniel. His value was connected more to what he could do to help Stafford and the coaching staff off the field than what he could do on it. But after this performance against the Bucs, it's clear he has no business ever stepping on the field again. Too bad the Lions can't get a refund for their defective purchase.