Lions upgrade backup quarterback spot, agree to deal with Chase Daniel

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — After watching the team's backup quarterbacks go winless the final eight games of the regular season, the Detroit Lions made an effort to upgrade the roster spot on Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a three-year deal with Chase Daniel, according to an ESPN report

The pact is reported to be valued at just over $13 million. 

Quarterback Chase Daniel has been in the NFL since 2009, making stops in New Orleans, Kansas City, Philadelphia and, most recently, Chicago.

Daniel confirmed his move to the Lions on Twitter.

"Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful my family is for our time in Chicago," Daniel tweeted. "We loved the city with all our hearts but it’s time for a new adventure in Detroit!!! We can’t wait to get to work!! #OnePride."

He added: "P.S. I really like playing at Ford Field!!!"

The former Missouri standout went undrafted in 2009, but has carved out a long NFL career as a backup, staring with a four-year stint playing behind Drew Brees in New Orleans. From there, Daniel went to Kansas City and Philadelphia before returning to New Orleans for the 2017 season. 

For the past two years, Daniel has been with the Chicago Bears, where he appeared in eight games, including three starts during that stretch. For his career, the 33-year-old has completed 68.3% of his passes for 1,430 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. 

In 2018, Daniel started for the Bears against the Lions, completing 27 of his 37 throws in a 23-16 victory at Ford Field. In the days leading up to the game, Bears coach Matt Nagy explained why he had confidence in Daniel as a starter. 

"I was Chase’s quarterback coach in Kansas City for three years," Nagy said. "I know Chase inside-out and he knows me. And so, that’s why you bring in a guy like Chase, is not only for his expertise in this offense, but in the way he handles his position each and every week. You know that if you ever get into a situation where you’re going to need him or call on him, you feel very comfortable."

The Lions struggled to find a backup for starter Matthew Stafford last year, starting in the offseason. After cycling through Tom Savage, Connor Cook, David Fales and Josh Johnson through the offseason program, the team eventually settled on the tandem of Jeff Driskel and David Blough to handle the duties. 

The Lions added both Driskel and Blough to the roster after the preseason. Driskel got the call to start the first three games after Stafford suffered a season-ending back injury, completing 59% of his throws with four touchdowns to four interceptions in those games, all loses. 

Driskel ultimately was sidelined by a hamstring injury, clearing the path for Blough, an undrafted free agent out of Purdue to start the final five games. Despite a promising start in Detroit's annual Thanksgiving game, he struggled down the stretch of the season, completing 54% of his passes with more interceptions (six) than touchdowns (four). 

"When Matthew got hurt, Jeff went in there and the three games he started, I would say that he probably played good enough to win two out of those three," Lions general manager Bob Quinn said after the season. "We didn’t win those games and that was probably a byproduct of the defense not having a great day or special teams not having a great day. Jeff went in there and I thought played at a decent level to help us win the game."

For the time being, Blough remains on Detroit's roster and will presumably compete to be the team's developmental quarterback, either as a third option on the main roster or a member of the team's practice squad.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers