Patrick Mahomes gets new backup as Chiefs bring in veteran QB Blaine Gabbert

The Kansas City Chiefs have a new backup for Patrick Mahomes, and given their recent history, that could be very significant at some point.

The team is signing veteran quarterback Blaine Gabbert to replace Mahomes' previous backup, the newly retired Chad Henne, according to Pat McAfee and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The 33-year-old Gabbert joins the Chiefs after four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he backed up Tom Brady and Jameis Winston. He saw no starts during that tenure while posting 239 passing yards on 22-of-35 passing with three touchdowns in 11 games.

The Chiefs will be Gabbert's sixth team in a career that goes back to 2011, when he was selected 10th overall in the NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Going from Brady to Mahomes means Gabbert's basic job description won't change much, but the difference is the Chiefs have used their backup quite a bit more in recent years, and in vitally important spots.

Henne played the hero in the playoffs last season when the Chiefs briefly lost Mahomes to injury in the first half of their divisional round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Henne was brought in with the Chiefs pinned at their two-yard line and proceeded to lead them on a 98-yard touchdown drive in a game they would later win 27-20.

There was also a divisional round game in 2021 where Henne came in for Mahomes and finished a 22-17 win against the Cleveland Browns. Mahomes has been the top quarterback of the NFL for the last half-decade or so, but hasn't been immune to injury.

The Chiefs will be hoping they don’t Gabbert at all next season, but they know as much as anyone else that a backup QB isn’t an area to ignore.

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