Former St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles will be the Chiefs backup to starter Alex Smith. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The expected training camp battle for the Kansas City Chiefs' No. 2 quarterback spot on the depth chart lasted only five practices in total. No winner was declared between Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray and Kevin Hogan.
The Chiefs backup to starter Alex Smith this year will be Nick Foles. After being released last week by the Los Angeles Rams, Foles elected to accept a one-year contract offer from the Chiefs, rejoining his coach from his rookie year in Philadelphia, Andy Reid.
Published reports say the deal is for $1.7 million in the 2016 season with incentives available. There is a club option for 2017, based on incentives achieved in the coming season.
The Chiefs at the time of the negotiations and eventual signing of Foles on Aug. 3, were smack up against the salary-cap limit for the current season, with less than $500,000 available. The Chiefs did not release news of the signing or what roster adjustments and cap alterations went down to pull off the signing.
Although Reid said during the offseason that he did not see a pressing need to sign a backup quarterback with NFL playing experience, the chance to get Foles for an affordable contract was too good to pass up.
In the 2012 NFL Draft, Reid selected Foles out of the University of Arizona in the third round with the 88th pick. Reid left the Eagles after the 2012 season, replaced by Chip Kelly.
Foles ended up spending two seasons with Philadelphia and one with the St. Louis Rams after he was traded in March 2015 in a deal where the Eagles received quarterback Sam Bradford.
Bray, Murray and Hogan have never taken a regular-season snap in the NFL. Foles has played in 39 games, starting 35 times and leading his team to a 19-16 record. He's completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 8,805 yards, 53 touchdown passes and 27 interceptions.
Foles is also one of only a handful of NFL quarterbacks to throw seven touchdown passes in a game, posting those scores and perfect 158.3 passer rating for the Eagles in a November 2013 game against Oakland. Foles also started in the 2013 NFC playoffs for Philadelphia, hitting 23 of 33 passes for 195 yards.
Since joining the Chiefs in 2013, Smith has started 49 of 51 games in the regular and postseason. For three seasons, Chase Daniel was the No. 2 man. Daniel left in free agency and signed with Philadelphia.
The Chiefs have not had a backup quarterback with more starting experience than Foles since they claimed Kyle Orton off the waiver wire late in the 2011 season.
--Even before he stepped on the football field with the Chiefs, it seemed all eyes were on fifth-round draft choice Tyreek Hill. The Georgia native had been drafted despite his guilty plea to assaulting his pregnant girlfriend in 2014 while he was at Oklahoma State.
Kansas City officials say they vetted the 5-10, 185-pound speedster, who finished his college career in 2015 at West Alabama.
He's made a name for himself in other ways since getting on the field. In the team's offseason program and minicamps, Hill flashed his speed and quickness, showing in non-contact drills that he could go almost as fast to his left and right as he did moving forward.
Since training camp practice have begun, Hill continues to dazzle spectators and his own teammates with his ability to run past defenders. In the Chiefs first full-pad practice Monday, Hill got behind Marcus Peters -- last year's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year -- and hauled in a long completion from quarterback Alex Smith.
"He's fast as hell," Peters said. "It's fun; that's the competition we need and we'll need that from him all through the season. I told him, 'Man, we're going to need you to do that during the season, so just keep practicing.' He's doing a real wonderful job just coming in everyday and working."
On the field, Hill will factor in with the Chiefs' offense and kick/punt return teams. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub has several potential returners at both positions, but it's hard to see Hill not handling at least one, if not both spots.
"For a rookie coming in, he's really advanced as a punt catcher," Toub said. "That's number one, and then, he's got a really great first step. He's got top speed. We think he's strong, and we think he's tough ... the guys that are going against him are surprised by (his speed) because you can see it. They think they've got an angle and all of the sudden -- bam -- they're done. He also has the ability to change things. He'll show you one speed, and then all of a sudden, he has another gear. He's dangerous. He's going to be dangerous, and we're excited."
Hill, a fairly demonstrative player on the field, is guarded in what he says to anyone not in the Chiefs' inner circle.
"I've got to get better each and every day," Hill said. "That's my biggest thing, just staying focused, stay in the playbook, listen to the vets and then just doing what all the coaches are telling me to do."