KC Chiefs: Carson Wentz offers higher ceiling to Chiefs backup QB role

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs opted to go with a new face at backup quarterback next season as they inked a deal late Monday night to make former Los Angeles Rams backup quarterback Carson Wentz the new backup to Patrick Mahomes.

Wentz is most well-known for his stint as the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback where he was drafted in the first round by the organization in the 2016 NFL Draft. Despite getting hurt during the 2017 NFL season where he was making a strong push for the league MVP award, Wentz helped propel Philadelphia to the franchise's first Super Bowl victory.

However, since Wentz tore his ACL that season, he was never able to return to form and seemed to lose confidence mentally. That led to Philadelphia moving on from him as their starter and Wentz has since enjoyed stints as a stopgap, backup quarterback in Washington, Indianapolis, and most recently Los Angeles.

Carson Wentz gives KC Chiefs higher ceiling at backup QB

Wentz makes for a very interesting signing at backup quarterback for Kansas City as he's a little bit of a different profile than anyone else they've picked up to backup Patrick Mahomes in the past.

Before, Kansas City typically opted to go for the old, dusty veteran who was moreso there to serve as a mentor to a young Mahomes and could be trusted to run the most basic and vanilla Andy Reid offense possible. 

Guys like Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne were brought in to be like another coach on the staff as much as they were backup quarterbacks, but you were pretty nervous if they were ever asked to step in during a big moment or crucial game. That said, Henne certainly came through a couple of times for an injured Mahomes in the postseason and he deserves credit for that, but he was never going to do anything other than scripted plays and being asked to protect the ball.

Wentz on the other hand, has a much higher ceiling at backup quarterback. Now, this is the backup quarterback we're talking about and the hope and expectation is that they never have to see the field, but Wentz has a pedigree as a starting quarterback in this league and he's on the younger side compared to a Henne or a Gabbert.

Wentz, who is 31 years-old, has thrown for over 3,000 yards four times and three for over 4,000 yards in 2019. In addition, he has 153 career touchdown passes to 67 interceptions. 

With plenty of experience as a starter and a track record of serviceable quarterback play, this gives Kansas City a real option that can play if Mahomes truly needs rest for a few games. Wentz played in Doug Pederson's offense in Philadelphia which has a lot of similar concepts and terminology to Andy Reid's given that they have crossed paths and Pederson once served as Reid's offensive coordinator in Kansas City.

What makes Wentz more appealing as a backup quarterback is the step up in athletic ability from Henne or Gabbert, at least coming out of college, and the fact that he can go off script a little bit more and make plays because of his arm talent and experience as a starter. 

Lastly, Mahomes is beyond the point of needing a veteran voice in the room as he's a seasoned NFL veteran himself at this point, so it was a good decision for Kansas City to go out and get someone with some pedigree and the ability to open up the offense a little bit more even if Mahomes goes down at any point.