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QB Carson Wentz: Big piece of puzzle for joining Chiefs was 'winning culture'

Carson Wentz has moved onto his fourth home in four years, only this time it's with the two-time reigning Super Bowl champions.

Wentz, who has gone from the No. 2 overall pick in 2016 and one-time MVP candidate to a clipboard-carrying journeyman, told reporters on Thursday that his move to become a backup quarterback for the Chiefs came about due to his appreciation for Kansas City's winning ways.

"Lots of unknowns about the future, take it one day at a time first and foremost," Wentz said regarding his aims for 2024, per the team transcript. "Big intrigue to wanting to come here and why I am here today is the winning culture. Seeing it from afar, seeing it from around the league for the last couple of years, just the culture that (head coach Andy) Reid has set, you see it. I've admired it for years, that was a big piece of the puzzle for me and the desire to be here on a winning team, in a good culture, in a good community, with a good fan base -- just seemed like a good fit."

Wanting to join the Chiefs and contribute to their successes is likely a common refrain for free agents -- especially those looking to jumpstart stalled careers.

Kansas City is in the midst of a dynastic run, with two straight Super Bowl victories and three in the past five years. Under Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City has represented the AFC on the game's biggest stage in four of those seasons and reached the AFC Championship Game six straight times.

Wentz, who will play behind Mahomes, is heading into his ninth year. He spent his first five with the Philadelphia Eagles, leading them to an 11-2 record during his 2017 sophomore season before tearing his ACL and watching backup Nick Foles complete the mission with a Super Bowl ring.

Wentz retook the starting role the following year but fell off from his zenith, and following a benching in the middle of his final campaign there, he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts to begin his NFL odyssey.

Wentz spent one season each with Indy and then the Washington Commanders before taking until November of last season to catch on with the Rams. With both Los Angeles and the rival 49ers already locked into the playoffs in Week 18, Wentz took the field and contributed three touchdowns.

It was a reminder of what he can provide off the bench, one the Chiefs heeded by signing him at the onset of April.

Now it's on Wentz to meld as another part of Kansas City's championship culture, stay ready and, if necessary, take over and lead from the backup role.

Doing so will perhaps be made easier thanks to playing under now-Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, who served as K.C.'s offensive coordinator from 2013-2014, for half a decade in Philly.

"I don't know the X's and O's yet; I see them from afar watching film or watching games whenever I'd see the Chiefs on film," Wentz said about how his time with Pederson will help prepare him for Reid's offense. "I would image it will make sense to me pretty quick because of that, being five years with Pederson in that offense. Obviously, there is always little intricacies and differences, but I think it will make sense to me and resonate with me pretty quickly. That part I am looking forward to, the last couple of years' offenses have been very different that I've been in, so I've gotten to see a lot, experience a lot. I think this one will kind of hit home so to speak and be the most familiar for me over the last couple of years."

With any luck, the Chiefs won't have to turn to him. If they do, Wentz will have that foundation and the months ahead to be prepared.

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