Backup quarterback options who make sense behind Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs

Let's explore the Kansas City Chiefs' urgent need for a backup to Patrick Mahomes.

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Matt Barkley

Of all the players this small-town Kansas native had a poster of, it was then-USC quarterback Matt Barkley. The Wuerffel Trophy winner and PAC-12 record holder was an exciting collegiate player in California. I wasn't a draft expert and didn't have cable to watch talking heads often, but I am sure people raved about Barkley's first three seasons with the Trojans. He never replicated his college success in the NFL. but he has quietly carved out a 12-year career as a backup. Could Kansas City be his next stop?

Barkley split last season with the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, not logging a single passing attempt. His highlight last season arguably game in the preseason, serving as the Buffalo Bills' punter plus a 53-yard boot. He's no Justin Reid, but that is pretty unexpected and not too shabby either.

What does Barkley bring to any team in 2024? Well, it probably resembles a veteran scapegoat more than anything. He hasn't been impressive in limited action, but he hasn't seen much since starting 2016 as the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback. At best, he can come in and spell the top quarterback and protect a younger quarterback. At worst, he will be a practice squad elevation that soils the bed in any action. Either way, he should be very cheap on a one-year deal, something Kansas City needs for cap flexibility.

I admitted that I was a Barkley fan dating back more than a decade. The Chiefs should have several options in camp this season, and there are worse ones out there than Barkley. If a younger or more surprising quarterback beats him out in St. Joseph, so be it.