Complete List Of Kansas City Chiefs Quarterbacks In Order

Kansas City Chiefs Quarterbacks

Feature Photo: Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com

List Of Kansas City Chiefs Quarterbacks In Order presents a list of all starting and backup quarterbacks from the team’s inception.

Len Dawson (1962-1975)

Len Dawson began his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957 and played for the Cleveland Browns before joining the Dallas Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963) in 1962. A Purdue University alumnus, Dawson’s tenure with the Chiefs was marked by significant success. He led the team to three AFL Championships and a victory in Super Bowl IV. Over his career with the Chiefs, Dawson threw for more than 28,000 yards and 237 touchdowns. His precision and consistency made him a central figure in the team’s offense and one of the most respected quarterbacks of his era.

Mike Livingston (1968-1979)

Drafted out of Southern Methodist University in 1968, Mike Livingston served as a backup to Len Dawson before taking over as the starter. Livingston’s most notable contribution came in 1969 when he filled in for an injured Dawson and led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl IV victory. He continued as a starter for several seasons, providing stability at the quarterback position. Livingston’s career with the Chiefs included over 11,000 passing yards and 56 touchdowns.

Pete Beathard (1964-1967)

Pete Beathard, drafted from the University of Southern California, joined the Chiefs in 1964. Serving primarily as a backup quarterback, Beathard’s role was significant during the team’s formative years. He was part of the team that won the AFL Championship in 1966. Beathard later played for the Houston Oilers and St. Louis Cardinals.

Jacky Lee (1960-1963, 1967-1969)

Jacky Lee, initially with the Houston Oilers, joined the Chiefs in 1960. A product of the University of Cincinnati, Lee’s tenure with the Chiefs included two separate stints. He played a backup role, contributing to the team’s depth at quarterback. Lee later returned to the Oilers and also played for the Denver Broncos.

Tom Flores (1969)

Tom Flores, before becoming a successful coach, played as a quarterback for the Chiefs in 1969 after starting his career with the Oakland Raiders in 1960. A University of Pacific alumnus, Flores’ time with the Chiefs was brief but included contributions as a backup quarterback during their successful Super Bowl IV run.

Steve Fuller (1979-1982)

Steve Fuller, drafted from Clemson University, joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979. In his tenure with the Chiefs, Fuller played in a starting role, showing potential as a leader on the field. He passed for 4,508 yards and 22 touchdowns during his time with the team. Fuller’s career with the Chiefs, marked by moments of promise, was part of a transitional phase for the team. He later played for the Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears.

Bill Kenney (1980-1988)

Bill Kenney, coming from the University of Northern Colorado, was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1978 but found his place with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1980. Kenney’s time with the Chiefs was highlighted by his 1983 season, where he threw for 4,348 yards and 24 touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl selection. Over his nine seasons with the team, Kenney passed for 17,277 yards and 105 touchdowns, establishing himself as a reliable and productive quarterback.

Todd Blackledge (1983-1987)

Todd Blackledge, a Penn State University standout, was selected by the Chiefs in the 1983 NFL Draft. His career in Kansas City, lasting until 1987, was marked by competition for the starting role and challenges in establishing himself as the team’s franchise quarterback. Blackledge struggled with consistency, finishing his Chiefs career with 4,510 passing yards and 29 touchdowns. He later joined the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steve DeBerg (1988-1991)

Steve DeBerg, a veteran NFL quarterback, joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 1988 after playing for several teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A San Jose State University alumnus, DeBerg brought experience and stability to the Chiefs’ quarterback position. In 1990, he led the NFL in completion percentage (60.8%) and helped guide the team to a playoff berth. DeBerg passed for 11,873 yards and 67 touchdowns during his time with the Chiefs.

Ron Jaworski (1989)

Ron Jaworski, known for his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, joined the Chiefs in 1989. A Youngstown State University graduate, Jaworski’s stint with the Chiefs was brief, serving as a backup quarterback. His experience and knowledge were valuable to the team’s quarterback room, providing depth and mentorship.

Mark Vlasic (1989-1991)

Mark Vlasic, drafted from the University of Iowa, spent part of his NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Vlasic’s role with the Chiefs was primarily as a backup quarterback, providing support and depth behind the starters. His contributions, though not reflected in significant playing time, were important to the team’s overall quarterback strategy.

Steve Pelluer (1989-1990)

Steve Pelluer joined the Chiefs in 1989 after starting his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. A University of Washington product, Pelluer served as a backup quarterback during his time in Kansas City. His role was to provide depth and experience to the quarterback position, ready to step in when needed.

Dave Krieg (1992-1993)

Dave Krieg, after an impressive tenure with the Seattle Seahawks, joined the Chiefs in 1992. Coming from Milton College, Krieg brought veteran experience to the quarterback position. In his two seasons with the Chiefs, he passed for 3,115 yards and 23 touchdowns. Krieg played a crucial role in leading the Chiefs to the playoffs in both 1992 and 1993.

Joe Montana (1993-1994)

Joe Montana, one of the most iconic quarterbacks in NFL history, joined the Chiefs in 1993 after a storied career with the San Francisco 49ers. A Notre Dame alumnus, Montana’s time in Kansas City was marked by immediate impact. He led the Chiefs to an AFC Championship Game appearance in the 1993 season and compiled 5,427 passing yards and 29 touchdowns over two seasons.

Steve Bono (1994-1996)

Steve Bono, who backed up Joe Montana in San Francisco, followed him to Kansas City in 1994. Hailing from UCLA, Bono stepped into the starting role in 1995. That season, he passed for 3,121 yards and 21 touchdowns, helping the Chiefs to a 13-3 record and a division title. Bono’s tenure with the Chiefs ended in 1996 after accumulating 6,489 passing yards and 37 touchdowns.

Rich Gannon (1995-1998)

Rich Gannon, joining from the Washington Redskins, played for the Chiefs from 1995 to 1998. The University of Delaware graduate initially served as a backup but later started in several games. In Kansas City, Gannon threw for 3,533 yards and 23 touchdowns. His time with the Chiefs set the stage for his later success with the Oakland Raiders.

Elvis Grbac (1997-2000)

Elvis Grbac, coming from the San Francisco 49ers, joined the Chiefs in 1997. A University of Michigan product, Grbac became the Chiefs’ primary starter, throwing for 10,643 yards and 66 touchdowns during his four seasons. Grbac’s best year came in 2000 when he passed for 4,169 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Trent Green (2001-2006)

Trent Green, acquired from the St. Louis Rams, was a key figure for the Chiefs from 2001 to 2006. A product of Indiana University, Green revitalized the Chiefs’ offense, passing for more than 21,000 yards and 118 touchdowns during his tenure. He led the Chiefs to two playoff appearances and was selected for the Pro Bowl twice.

Damon Huard (2004-2008)

Damon Huard, who played for several teams including the Miami Dolphins, served as a backup and occasional starter for the Chiefs. A University of Washington alumnus, Huard’s role was pivotal in 2006 when he stepped in for an injured Trent Green. He passed for 2,751 yards and 18 touchdowns in his time with Kansas City.

Brodie Croyle (2006-2010)

Brodie Croyle, drafted from the University of Alabama, was with the Chiefs from 2006 to 2010. Croyle’s career was hampered by injuries, and he struggled to establish himself as a consistent starter. He finished his time in Kansas City with 1,669 passing yards and eight touchdowns.

Matt Cassel (2009-2012)

Matt Cassel, after a standout season with the New England Patriots, was traded to the Chiefs in 2009. A USC graduate, Cassel’s best season came in 2010 when he passed for 3,116 yards and 27 touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl selection. Cassel threw for 9,549 yards and 59 touchdowns during his four seasons with the Chiefs.

Tyler Palko (2011)

Tyler Palko, a University of Pittsburgh product, played briefly for the Chiefs in 2011. His tenure as a starter was short-lived, and he passed for 796 yards and two touchdowns over four starts.

Brady Quinn (2012-2013)

Brady Quinn, drafted by the Cleveland Browns, joined the Chiefs in 2012. The Notre Dame alumnus started eight games in 2012, passing for 1,141 yards and two touchdowns. Quinn’s time in Kansas City was part of a challenging period for the team.

Alex Smith (2013-2017)

Alex Smith, acquired from the San Francisco 49ers, revitalized his career with the Chiefs. The University of Utah alumnus led the team to four playoff appearances in five seasons. Smith passed for 17,608 yards and 102 touchdowns with the Chiefs, earning three Pro Bowl selections during his tenure.

Chase Daniel (2013-2015)

Chase Daniel, who also played for the New Orleans Saints, served as a backup to Alex Smith. The University of Missouri graduate saw limited action but provided reliable depth at the quarterback position, starting two games and passing for 409 yards and a touchdown with the Chiefs.

Patrick Mahomes (2017-present)

Patrick Mahomes played college football at Texas Tech University. During his tenure from 2014 to 2016, Mahomes established himself as a prolific passer in the NCAA. He began as a backup in his freshman year before taking over as the starting quarterback. In his sophomore year, he passed for 4,653 yards with 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His junior year was even more impressive; he led the NCAA in passing yards (5,052) and total touchdowns (53). Mahomes’ college career was marked by his strong arm, mobility, and ability to make unconventional throws, traits that would become hallmarks of his professional play.

NFL Career with the Kansas City Chiefs

Draft and Early NFL Career (2017-2018): Mahomes declared for the NFL Draft after his junior year and was selected 10th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2017 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he played in one game, starting the final game of the season, and showed promise for the future.

MVP Season (2018): The 2018 season was a breakout year for Mahomes. In his first season as a starter, he threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns, joining Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a single season. His performances earned him the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, making him the youngest player ever to receive the MVP and the first Chief to win the award.

Super Bowl Champion (2019): Building on his MVP season, Mahomes continued to excel in 2019. Despite missing two games due to a knee injury, he passed for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns in the regular season. In the playoffs, Mahomes led the Chiefs to three consecutive comeback wins, including a victory in Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ers. Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP, becoming the youngest quarterback to win both an NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP.

Continued Success and Extension (2020-present): In 2020, Mahomes continued to demonstrate his elite skills, passing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns. The Chiefs finished the regular season 14-2 and made it to Super Bowl LV but were defeated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the 2022 season, Mahomes and the Chiefs returned to their winning ways, securing another Super Bowl title. As of now, Mahomes has led the Chiefs to three Super Bowl appearances, winning two of them. Recognizing his value, the Chiefs signed Mahomes to a 10-year extension in 2020, worth up to $503 million, the largest contract in professional sports history at the time.

Chad Henne (2018-2022)

Chad Henne, a veteran quarterback, joined the Chiefs in 2018 after stints with the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. A University of Michigan product, Henne served as a reliable backup to Patrick Mahomes

Blaine Gabbert (2023)

A standout at the University of Missouri, Gabbert declared for the NFL Draft after his junior year, bringing to an end a college career noted for his strong arm and athletic prowess. Selected 10th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, his tenure there was challenging, marred by inconsistencies and injuries. Over three seasons with the Jaguars, he started 27 games, amassing 4,357 passing yards with 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Gabbert’s next move was to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, where he found himself in a backup role initially before starting several games across the 2015 and 2016 seasons. His performance with the 49ers showed some signs of improvement compared to his earlier stint in Jacksonville.

In 2017, he played for the Arizona Cardinals under head coach Bruce Arians. Gabbert’s time in Arizona was short but notable, as he started five games and passed for 1,086 yards. The following year saw him with the Tennessee Titans, where he again filled a backup role but started three games.

His career took a turn towards stability when he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019, reuniting with Bruce Arians. Serving mainly in a backup capacity, he became a part of the team that clinched victory in Super Bowl LV.

The Kansas City Chiefs signed Gabbert in April 2023, looking to leverage his experience and capability as a backup quarterback.

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