Undrafted Shea Patterson signs free-agent deal with Chiefs

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Shea Patterson, Michigan’s starting quarterback the last two seasons, had to wait longer than expected but has a new football home.

Patterson signed a free-agent deal with Kansas City on Sunday, according to his agent, Bryan Ehrlich of Priority Athletes. Michigan had 10 players selected in the recent NFL Draft, including first-round center Cesar Ruiz, and two quickly signed free-agent deals.

“He wasn’t a crybaby, he’s an NFL player, and you have to be tough to be an NFL quarterback,” Ehrlich told The Detroit News on Sunday. “He was wading through the process, I was wading through the process, and Shea stayed ready, making sure it was a good fit.

“It took a little bit longer, but now he’s got a home.”

The Chiefs won the Super Bowl in February, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Super Bowl MVP. Also in the quarterback room are former Michigan standout Chad Henne and Jordan Ta’amu, Patterson’s friend and teammate at Ole Miss.

Patterson transferred to Michigan from Ole Miss in December 2017, and started the next two seasons for the Wolverines, his favorite team while growing up in Toledo. Patterson, who played for four offensive coordinators during his career, threw for 5,661 yards and had 45 touchdowns and 15 interceptions at Michigan. He threw for 3,061 yards and 23 touchdowns against eight interceptions last season and was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates.

After going undrafted late last month, Patterson remained upbeat, Ehrlich said. Patterson congratulated his Michigan teammates in an Instagram post just after the conclusion of the draft and then two days later shared this message: “In the middle of difficult lies opportunity. … I will be more than ready when my number is called.”

Patterson has spent the days since the draft working out and throwing several times a day.

“He dealt with this like a quarterback in the NFL would,” Ehrlich said. “He was be able to land on a team and was never feeling sorry for himself. It’s a perfect spot.”

Kansas City runs an offense similar to what Patterson worked in last season in offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ first year with the Wolverines.

“They have a solidified starter, obviously, with Patrick Mahomes,” Ehrlich said. “They want Shea to come in to compete and help everyone get better and make himself better.”

Ehrlich pointed out that some had described a friction between Ta’amu and Patterson at Ole Miss.

“Everybody always thought Jordan and Shea were in some heated battle and hated each other,” he said. “That’s just not true. They’re great friends.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh also played a role in helping Patterson land with a team.

“Jim was the absolute the best,” Ehrlich said. “He could not have done more to help Shea than he did. He did everything and beyond to lend a hand. Jim was calling me and making sure he was involved, and he was a big part of the process.”


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