Barring injury, there won’t be anyone besides Patrick Mahomes taking meaningful snaps under center for the Kansas City Chiefs anytime soon. Still, the team’s front office is doing its due diligence on depth options at the position following the 2021 NFL draft.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Saturday, May 1, the Chiefs have signed former SMU signal-caller Shane Buechele (pronounced BOO-shell) as a part of the club’s undrafted free agent class. The NFL insider, who described the 23-year-old as an “undersized playmaker in the Case Keenum mold,” also confirmed that the one-year deal includes a $160K base salary guarantee, plus a $15,000 signing bonus.
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Buechele introduced himself to Chiefs Kingdom on Twitter shortly after agreeing to a deal on Saturday, writing, “I’m excited to join a GREAT organization and ready to get to work!”
Buechele ‘Resilient’ But Lacks Prototypical NFL QB Traits
In his scouting report on NFL.com, draft analyst Lance Zierlein accurately pegged the former Mustangs team captain as a potential priority free agent, but didn’t inspire much confidence in terms of the rookie’s translatable on-field skills.
Resilient, undersized quarterback who lost his job at Texas but ended up putting together a nice two-year run at SMU. While Buechele was productive and won games, he lacks the mobility, size and arm strength teams typically look for out of a pro quarterback. He has a good football IQ, which gives his draft hopes some life, but ultimately, it will be difficult to stick around.
The comparison to Keenum may be an apt one, especially given Buechele’s 6-foot, 210-pound frame, which comes within one inch and five pounds of the journeyman quarterback. Also an undrafted Texas native, the 33-year-old Keenum has stuck around the league for nine seasons with six different teams — most recently with the Cleveland Browns in 2020. His peak came in 2017-18 when he posted 7,437 yards, 40 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in 30 starts between the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos.
Buechele will now join a Chiefs’ quarterbacks room headlined by Mahomes, with veteran Chad Henne and ex-Seattle Seahawks tryout Anthony Gordon waiting in the wings.
Chiefs Sign 6 Other Postdraft Free Agents
After adding six new faces to the roster via the draft, Kansas City quickly brought on another half dozen undrafted players on Saturday, in addition to Buechele:
Outside of the SMU quarterback, all six other additions came on the defensive side of the ball, including three players in the secondary. Based on the publically available financial details thus far, it is Herring who secured the next-largest signing bonus of the group with $125K in total guarantees, according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.
However, the Georgia edge rusher will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2021 season after suffering a torn ACL during a practice leading up to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in late January.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!