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3 Backup Quarterback options the Chiefs should consider in 2023

Even with the reigning MVP quarterback locked up for the foreseeable future, it’s still important to have depth backing him up.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) talks with Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) after an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. Kansas City won 22-16. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Simply put, the Kansas City Chiefs should find a backup quarterback behind reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes entering the 2023 season.

The only other QB that the Chiefs have under contract is Chris Oladokun, who hasn’t suited up in the NFL yet, but he played quarterback at South Florida, Samford and South Dakota State in college. The Chiefs seem to think highly of Shane Buechele, signifying that he could be the No. 2 QB behind Mahomes next season. However, the 25-year-old hasn’t suited up in an NFL regular season game yet, which makes me believe that the Chiefs will likely bring in a veteran (a young but experienced vet) to compete with Buechele and they could win the job if Buechele isn’t ready for the spotlight when the time comes. Here are three-backup quarterbacks that the Chiefs can target in free agency.


Case Keenum
Buffalo Bills quarterback Case Keenum (18) stands on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)

1. Case Keenum (Bills)

One veteran QB who could be atop of the Chiefs’ list to consider to replace Chad Henne is Case Keenum. The 35-year-old journeyman was with the Buffalo Bills last season. The veteran gunslinger is five years removed from quarterbacking the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship. Is he a permanent solution? No, but getting an elite backup/spot starter as insurance would be a smart move. As proven by Patrick Mahomes’ injuries during the postseason, but Keenum would be a solid backup to turn to if he ever did miss time with access to weapons like Travis Kelce, Kadarius Toney and Isiah Pacheco. He hasn’t been a franchise QB, but he has won some massive playoff games, and his value as a backup has kept him in the NFL for almost a decade. He would be a great mentor for Buechele as he continues to develop.


Drew Lock 2
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

2. Drew Lock (Seahawks)

Chiefs fans should remember Lee’s Summit, MO native Drew Lock’s from his time with the Denver Broncos. Since then he has backed up Geno Smith in Seattle. Some even thought that the former second-round pick in 2019 from Mizzou was supposed to start over Geno Smith before the 2022 season started and his potential was why the Seahawks included him as part of the Russell Wilson deal. Lock is a veteran, but at 26 years old, he can be a really good long-term investment at backup quarterback. Lock has filled in admirably during his time in Denver and can keep a team afloat if the starting QB has to miss a chunk of time. He’s a big body at 6-foot-4 who also has a live arm and a willingness to attack down the field and the scrambling ability that would fit nicely in Andy Reid’s offense. Mahomes would be a good mentor, which could be huge for Lock’s development.


Mike White
New York Jets quarterback Mike White (5) passes against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

3. Mike White (Jets)

As Patrick Mahomes’ injuries began to pop up, as proven by his two injuries happening to his ankle during the postseason. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs targeted someone like Mike White in free agency. The Jets view White as a high-end backup/low-end starter, but there might not be room if they acquire a veteran starter like Derek Carr or Aaron Rodgers and retain Zach Wilson as a backup. Though he hasn’t always been perfect, White has risen to the occasion when called upon, averaging 268.1 passing yards with eight TDs to 12 interceptions in eight career appearances (seven starts). He’s also gone over 300 passing yards in three of his last six starts. If Mahomes winds up sidelined again, White is a good enough backup with a huge 6-foot-5 frame that is at his best when he stays within the scheme and executes on timing routes.


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