Former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel is confident he’ll remain with the Chiefs next season after proving his value as a backup quarterback in week 17.
For the second straight season, Daniel, who has been Alex Smith’s backup the last two years, started the Chiefs’ regular-season finale against the Chargers.
Daniel, who was inducted into the MU Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony Friday at Memorial Stadium, got the nod in 2013, because coach Andy Reid chose to rest most of the Chiefs’ starters with a playoff seed already clinched.
Last season, with the playoffs still at stake, Daniel was pressed into action when Alex Smith was sidelined with a lacerated spleen.
He performed well, completing 16 of 27 passes for 157 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in a 19-7 victory.
Daniel said he leans on his time at Missouri to remain calm and confident in such situations.
“I just remembered running out onto Faurot Field and how loose I was and how much fun I had out on the field, just carefree and playing,” Daniel said. “If you make a mistake, move on, and that’s sort of what I felt like we did in week 17 a little bit.”
Asked how Smith’s recovery was going, Daniel said, “He’s doing well. He’s fully healed up. He’s out in the offseason just enjoying his time with his family, but he’s healed up just fine.”
Daniel is entering the final season of a three-year, $10 million he signed in 2013 and is set to make $4.8 million next season.
The Chiefs, who are strapped against the salary cap, could save $3.8 million by cutting Daniel, but that would leave them with an inexperienced trio — Aaron Murray, Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Bray — behind Smith.
Daniel hopes it won’t come to that.
“I’m looking forward to this offseason program starting April 20, and we’ll go from there,” he said.
Bray, who spent 2014 on injured reserve with knee and ankle injuries, suffered a torn ACL in a home accident last month.
Murray, the SEC’s all-time passing leader, is barely a year removed from his own torn ACL and has never played in an NFL game.
Pryor, who signed a reserves/futures contract last month when Bray went down, has completed 56.3 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 career games with Oakland from 2011-13.