Chad Kelly, nephew of Buffalo Bills legend and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, has had some football journey.
Off-field issues have followed his college career to the pros.
But things are on the upswing for the 28-year-old.
The journeyman quarterback played in the Canadian Football League in 2022. That had a heck of a conclusion.
Coming off the bench in the CFL’s championship game to lead the Toronto Argonauts to a 24-23 comeback victory. He completed four of six passes for 43 yards and rushed twice for 21 yards.
Kelly has not been in the NFL since 2020. He stepped away from football and spent time as an offensive coach at East Mississippi Community College (Last Chance U).
With that title in his back pocket, Kelly indicated he wants another shot in the NFL. Or at least in the United States.
The top league is his obvious choice. But if someone offers a chance to start in the XFL or USFL, Kelly said he’ll listen to those offers, too.
“I was born to want to play in the NFL,” Kelly told the New York Post. “I wanted to see Uncle Jim’s playbooks since I was a kid. As a young kid, I was blessed to be able to throw the ball 71 yards. I could dissect defenses when I was 12 or 13.”
Kelly was selected by the Denver Broncos with the final pick in the 2017 NFL draft. During his second season, Kelly was arrested on suspension of criminal trespassing in October 2018 and he was promptly cut by the Broncos.
That incident occurred when current Bills pass rusher Von Miller was hosting a Halloween party. That prompted Kelly’s release from the Broncos.
The QB also noted remorse he had over such issues.
“I truly regret a lot of decisions I’ve made and self-sabotage, but I’ve grown from that. Unless they feel my sincerity in my voice and my presence, then they can still write me off as that same kid when I was acting like a fool,” Kelly said. That’s not who I am, who I want to be or who I want to be known as. I’m a different person.”
After Kelly was released by the Indianapolis Colts in 2020. Jim Kelly’s former teammate in Buffalo, Frank Reich, was the Colts coach at the time.
Perhaps his closest NFL shot since then came with the Bills. Buffalo never signed him, but according to a report in January 2021, the Bills did hold a workout with him.
For the real question now: Should Buffalo be the team to offer him a chance?
Bare minimum, 2023 is a better option than before.
At that time, Josh Allen was not at the status he is now. He’s in discussions as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. If Allen struggles? No shot anyone clamours for Kelly.
In addition, Brandon Beane will be looking toward some cheaper alternatives on his roster. Allen’s backups Case Keenum and Matt Barkley are pending free agents, too.
Kelly on a minimal deal to the practice squad? Maybe, maybe not.
That said, the priority for Beane is more likely to be getting that duo back under contracts… of the affordable variety, instead of Kelly. $w