Going into the season, the Kansas City Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and Tyler Bray behind Alex Smith on their quarterback depth chart.
Mahomes comes in as the team’s first round pick and QB of the future. He has all the traits to succeed going forward including arguably the best arm in the draft class. Bray on the other hand has been with the Chiefs since 2013, but has yet to take an NFL snap. He doesn’t have the potential Mahomes does, but will likely open the year as the backup.
Bray and Mahomes are two young quarterbacks who have massive potential, Mahomes especially. The only issue is their lack of experience. If Smith were to go down, the Chiefs offense would take a major hit with one of the two at the helm. It might make more sense for the team to bring in a veteran, while letting Mahomes and Bray continue to learn on the sidelines.
ESPN’s Chiefs writer Adam Teicher took a look at this possibility in a recent article. Teicher notes that while it may be improbable to bring in a quarterback during the preseason, it cannot be ruled out. He uses these two points to back up his claims:
- Neither Bray nor Mahomes has taken a snap in a regular-season game. The Chiefs have had an experienced No. 2 quarterback since Reid arrived in 2013. It was Chase Daniel his first three seasons and Foles last season. That doesn’t mean Reid wouldn’t go with an untested player as his No. 2. Obviously he’s more comfortable having a backup with game experience.
- It’s unlikely the Chiefs would go with Mahomes as their No. 2 quarterback unless they’re convinced he’s ready to play, because as the leading backup, he would be one unfortunate snap from being in the lineup. The Chiefs are determined not to ruin him by playing him before they believe he’s able to handle it. That would leave the Chiefs without a No. 2 they’re comfortable with if they decide Bray isn’t up to the challenge.
Teicher basically says that it is on Bray to prove that he is capable of being the Chiefs backup. It’s unlikely that Kansas City would go with Mahomes as the #2 right out of the gate.
Being in the Chiefs’ system for three years will certainly help Bray, but until he proves he can perform against NFL level competition, he’s earned nothing. As Teicher points out, if Bray struggles it’s more than likely that the Chiefs look outside the franchise for their backup QB.
If the Chiefs do go that route, training camp would be the best time to find their backup. Teams are figuring out their 53-man roster which will lead to tough cuts of players with potential.
At these stage of the offseason there isn’t many players that’ll excited if signed. However in terms of experience and ability, these players could make the most sense for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Colin Kaepernick, Free Agent
Colin Kaerpnick is the best available quarterback at this juncture. While his antics during the National Anthem didn’t earn him any fans there’s no doubt that he could still play in the NFL. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt went as far to say he would have no problem signing the embattled quarterback recently.
For his career, Kaepernick has appeared in 69 games, starting 58. He has completed 1,011 passes for 12,271 yards and a 72/30 TD/INT ratio. He has also rushed 375 times for 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Not only is Kaepernick the best man for the job, but he also provides a good mentor for Mahomes. His dual threat, high powered offensive attack is similar to how Mahomes plays. As someone who has succeeded in the past, Kaepernick’s tips could help take the former Tex Tech QB to the next level.
Some fans may be turned off due to his antics, but there’s no doubt Colin Kaepernick is the best quarterback left on the market. If the Chiefs are serious about bringing someone in, he’s the guy.
Robert Griffin III, Free Agent
Robert Griffin III offers a lot of the same qualities as Kaepernick. He is a dual threat quarterback who has seen success over his career. After being shut down due to injury last season and not seeing much interest, he recently visited the Los Angeles Chargers. The meeting reportedly went well, meaning RG3 looks atleast like a serviceable backup.
For his career, RG3 has appeared in 42 games, starting 40. He completed 766 passes for 8,983 yards and a 42/26 TD/INT ratio. He has also rushed 275 times for 1,670 yards and ten touchdowns.
Griffin is a former Rookie of the Year who knows what it takes to succeed in the NFL. He isn’t the same player he was in 2012, but he is more than just an average quarterback. Between his play on the field and the mentoring he could loan Mahomes as a dual-threat, RG3 seems like a reasonable add for the Chiefs.
Blaine Gabbert, Arizona Cardinals
Obviously signing Blaine Gabbert is not a good scenario for the Chiefs. He has struggled ever since coming into the league as the 10th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. However he has some of the most starting experience amongst potential camp cuts. He is currently battling Drew Stanton for the backup role behind Carson Palmer.
In 42 games and 40 career starts Gabbert has completed 686 passes for 7,351 yards and a 38/37 TD/INT ratio. While the ratio doesn’t look great, it is a bit inflated due to a 1/7 TD/INT ratio in 2013.
Gabbert certainly isn’t the Chiefs first choice. But if Kaepernick and RG3 are scooped up and Gabbert is cut he will certainly become an option. If experience is what Kansas City wants then Gabbert will intrigue. The team just has to hope he doesn’t make any risky throws and can be a successful game manager.
Mark Sanchez, Chicago Bears
Mark Sanchez is another quarterback who wouldn’t impress Chiefs fans, but not many would at this stage of the game. Again though, his experience would certainly intrigue Kansas City.
In 77 games and 72 starts, Sanchez has completed 1,295 passes for 15,219 yards and a 86/86 TD/INT ratio.
The Chicago Bears recently selected Mitchell Tribusky with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. There’s a chance they pull a Chiefs and don’t immediately make him the backup. But after trading up to get him, there’s a chance they’d be willing to give him the role.
If that becomes the case then Mark Sanchez becomes expendable. Again like Gabbert he isn’t a flashy quarterback by any means, but he is a veteran with multiple games of starting experiencing. The Chiefs could do worse than to employ him as their game manager.
Matt McGloin, Philadelphia Eagles
Matt McGloin never got his chance to shine in Oakland, mainly because of Derek Carr. He signed a cheap one year deal with the Eagles this offseason. If the Eagles decide to keep just two quarterbacks there’s a chance they take Nick Foles over him.
In 13 games and seven starts, McGloin has completed 161 passes for 1,868 yards and a 11/11 TD/INT ratio.
While seven starts doesn’t give the Chiefs the same security as Gabbert/Sanchez, you’d be shocked to see how many potentially available QBs have a TD/INT ratio worse than 1/1. McGloin isn’t going to blow the doors off the place, but he is capable enough to start a few games if need be for the Chiefs. If nothing else perhaps he could give Kansas City some intel on his former Raiders.
A few other players recommended would be Garrett Grayson of the Saints, Taylor Heincke of the Vikings and Brett Hundley of the Packers among others. These three have never played an NFL down. However Andy Reid recently preached how the backup QB spot will be a “battle”. If the Saints, Vikings, Packers or any other young team with a developmental quarterback releases that quarterback, it may be smart for Kansas City to take a took.
For now, Tyler Bray will enter the season as Alex Smith’s backup. However if he continues to struggle the Kansas City Chiefs could look outside the organization for a replacement. While these five won’t necessarily impress the Chiefs fan base, they offer the best upside and experience, making them potential additions for Kansas City.
Do you think we missed anyone? Feel free to continue the conversation on Twitter: @DFappiano14 and @spot_chiefs