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It's time for Aaron Murray or Tyler Bray to sink or swim

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Unless the Kansas City Chiefs can pull off the improbable and persuade Robert Griffin III to become their backup quarterback next season, they don’t need to be spending any more money than they already are at that position in 2016.

That means it’s time for either Aaron Murray or Tyler Bray to be the primary backup to starting quarterback Alex Smith next season.

This will be Bray’s fourth season with the Chiefs, Murray’s third. Neither has played in a regular-season game, and Bray’s progress hasbeen stunted by injuries that kept him from practicing much of the last two years.

But the Chiefs brought them in, Bray as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee in 2013 and Murray as a fifth-round pick from Georgia in 2014, and nurtured them for a reason. This is it. It’s time for one or the other to serve a meaningful purpose, and a duel between them to be Smith’s primary backup would be one of the most interesting at Chiefs’ training camp.

The Chiefs were third in the NFL behind the Saints and Chargers in quarterback spending against the salary cap in 2015 at about $21.5 million. That included not only Smith and nominal spending for Murray and Bray but also a significant charge for last year’s backup, Chase Daniel.

Kansas City’s quarterback spending against the cap for 2016, as of now at least, drops to about $19.1 million, in large part because Daniel doesn’t have a contract and probably will become a free agent. That makes the Chiefs 12th in QB charges against the cap.

The Chiefs have too much to do with their available salary cap space to invest even more of it on quarterbacks. They have 10 significant contributors from last season who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents and are better served using available cap space in that area.

That’s why the Chiefs need either Murray or Bray to take a step forward soon.