Chiefs QB depth chart: How Carson Wentz signing impacts Kansas City’s backup QB battle behind Patrick Mahomes

Carson Wentz spent most of the 2023 NFL season looking for work until the Rams signed him to back up Matthew Stafford in early November.

Wentz won’t have to wait as long to find a role in the NFL during the 2024 season. The Chiefs signed him to a one-year contract Monday to serve as the team’s backup quarterback behind Patrick Mahomes.

Wentz, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, was once considered one of the NFL’s best up-and-coming quarterbacks. He finished third in the league’s MVP voting in 2017 and averaged 4,424 yards, 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions per 17 games played over three years from 2017-19.

But the wheels fell off for Wentz in 2020. He led the NFL in interceptions with 15 before losing his starting job with the Eagles to Jalen Hurts. That began Wentz’s career odyssey, which landed him with five teams in five seasons.

Now 31, Wentz likely hopes the fifth stop with the Chiefs will be his home for a while. He will get a chance to work with Andy Reid — who is well-known for getting the most out of his quarterbacks. With the move, Wentz should have a chance to compete for a second Super Bowl ring as a backup quarterback.

MORE: SN’s full, 7-round mock draft | Top 200 big board

Where does Wentz fall on Kansas City’s depth chart? Here’s what to know about his deal with the Chiefs and his standing for the two-time reigning Super Bowl champions.

Chiefs QB depth chart

1. Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes will likely be the Chiefs’ top quarterback for his entire career, provided he can stay healthy. Perhaps he could pull a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers and change teams during his final seasons if Kansas City can no longer contend, but that decision is a long way off for the 28-year-old.

Mahomes has already won two NFL MVPs in his six seasons as a starter while leading the Chiefs to three Super Bowl wins. He claimed the Super Bowl MVP in each of those contests.

Just how good is Mahomes? He had a down year in 2023 and still completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 4,183 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He is the most dynamic passer in football and currently represents the only active player with a chance to dethrone Brady as the NFL GOAT.

Mahomes isn’t there yet, but he is firmly entrenched as the league’s top quarterback.

MORE: How Patrick Mahomes’ new contract could help Chiefs in 2024

2. Carson Wentz

Wentz figures to be Mahomes’ backup for the 2024 NFL season. The 2016 first-round pick showed well in his Week 17 action with the Rams, completing 17 of 24 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Los Angeles’ 21-20 win over San Francisco in Week 18.

Wentz isn’t the potential-packed passer he once was. He’s now 31 and is turnover-prone at times.

Still, Wentz has the raw talent and upside needed to be a quality backup quarterback. He is the veteran-most quarterback on Kansas City’s roster and if Reid can work some magic with him, Wentz could re-emerge as a solid low-end starter, especially if he can cut down on his turnovers.

Those are exactly the types of players that Super Bowl hopefuls should have on their rosters, so that makes Wentz a nice pickup for Kansas City.

3. Chris Oladokun

Before signing Wentz, Oladokun was penciled in as Mahomes’ backup. The South Dakota State product was selected in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Steelers but landed with the Chiefs after being waived by Pittsburgh.

Oladokun spent the last two seasons on Kansas City’s practice squad. He hasn’t played a down for the team, but he won two Super Bowls with them. Now, he will fight to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, but Wentz’s addition means Oladokun will likely have to do so as a third-stringer.

4. Ian Book

Book has bounced around since the Saints spent a fourth-round pick on him in the 2021 NFL Draft. He is on his fourth team in four seasons and lost his lone NFL start to date, a game during which he completed 12 of 20 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions.

Book will likely battle Oladokun for the third-string quarterback job. Neither is a lock to make the final roster or Kansas City’s practice squad.

MORE: How Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes created a to of cap space for 2024

What happened to Blaine Gabbert?

Wentz’s signing will lead many to wonder what happened to Kansas City’s backup quarterback from the last two seasons.

The short answer? Nothing. Gabbert is simply a free agent and rather than re-sign the 34-year-old, the Chiefs pivoted to the younger Wentz.

Kansas City could still re-sign Gabbert if it desires and roll with a three-man quarterback depth chart while developing its younger quarterback talent on the practice squad. But as it stands, Gabbert is not with the Chiefs; he’s still seeking out his next employment opportunity.

Carson Wentz contract

The terms of Wentz’s new contract with the Chiefs have yet to be disclosed. All that is known is that the pact will last one year.

Wentz played on a one-year deal worth just over $1.3 million for the Rams last season. It isn’t clear whether he will play on that veteran minimum type of deal in 2024 or if the Chiefs are shelling out a bit more to land one of the best quarterbacks remaining on the free-agent market.

MORE: Breaking down the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks for 2024

Carson Wentz teams

Wentz is now playing for his fifth NFL team as he enters his ninth season as an NFL quarterback. Below is a look at his timeline with each squad:

  • Philadelphia Eagles (2016-20)
  • Indianapolis Colts (2021)
  • Washington Commanders (2022)
  • Los Angeles Rams (2023)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2024-present)

Carson Wentz stats

Wentz has a career record of 47-45-1 as a starting quarterback along with an 89.4 passer rating. Below is a look at his year-by-year stats at his first four NFL stops.

Year Team Record Comp. % Passing yards Pass TDs INTs Y/a Rating
2016 Eagles 7-9 62.4 3,782 16 14 6.2 79.3
2017 Eagles 11-2 60.2 3,296 33 7 7.5 101.9
2018 Eagles 5-6 69.6 3,074 21 7 7.7 102.2
2019 Eagles 9-7 63.9 4,039 27 7 6.7 93.1
2020 Eagles 3-8-1 57.4 2,620 16 15 6.0 72.8
2021 Colts 9-8 62.4 3,563 27 7 6.9 94.6
2022 Commanders 2-5 62.3 1,755 11 9 6.4 80.2
2023 Rams 1-0 70.8 163 2 1 6.8 99.8

The Chiefs will hope that if called upon, Wentz can be efficient in 2024, just as he was in his one game with the Rams last season.

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