Leak Gets an NFL Look

With the All-American Football League on ice, it's time for Chris Leak to resume his chase for a spot on an NFL roster. Chris Leak's second shot at the league may come in Kansas City. The former Gator quarterback is taking part in the Chiefs post draft rookie tryouts this weekend.

Kansas City offers a potentially better fit for Leak to get an opportunity than Chicago was last year. He chose to sign with the Bears as a free agent after not being chosen in the 2007 NFL draft, saying he wanted the opportunity to play under Lovie Smith on a team that had just been to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately for Leak, the depth chart was not promising. Fellow former Gator Rex Grossman wasn't going anywhere, Brian Griese was the veteran backup and even Kyle Orton was a cost effective third option with previous starting experience. Leak's only real chance was to make the practice squad, but the Bears decided not to pursue that option.

The two quarterbacks whose Chiefs future appears secure at the moment are projected starter Brodie Croyle and veteran Damon Huard. The guys Leak would be battling it out with for the final spot and/or potentially a practice squad opportunity are former Georgia star David Greene, Tyler Thigpen, and New Hampshire rookie Ricky Santos. Greene was a free agent pickup after Seattle let him go. Thigpen was drafted in the seventh round out of Coastal Carolina by Minnesota in the same 2007 draft that saw Leak get passed over. He was then snatched up by the Chiefs after being cut at the end of training camp. Santos signed with the Chiefs on Friday, but there's no guarantee he'll even make it through the weekend. Leak is one of three new quarterbacks at the auditions, so it's far from a sure thing he'll get an offer.

Kansas City isn't Leak's only current possibility for the fall. His father Curtis told the Chrlotte Observer that the Buffalo Bills have also invited Leak to try out for them if the Chiefs do not sign him. Buffalo has an uninspiring quarterback depth chart. Trent Edwards will start, but backup and former starter J.P. Losman wants out. Gibran Hamdan has been a practice squad guy for multiple teams and finally made the Bills roster last season. Buffalo has already signed a rookie free agent, Illinois State's Matt Drone.

Leak's biggest problem continues to be his lack of prototype NFL size. For a six foot tall quarterback to get a serious NFL look, he typically has either great mobility or a rocket arm. Leak is adequate at moving within the pocket but certainly isn't known for his running skills, and his arm is average. The experience gained from three plus years of starting for Florida and his championship winning performance are things that balance those negatives out a little.

Whether Leak ever gets the opportunity to show his stuff during the regular season may come down to being in the right place at the right time. If a career disappointment like Brock Berlin could make the St. Louis Rams and actually start a game in 2007, it certainly could still happen for a guy with a championship pedigree. The current lack of a developmental league like NFL Europe or the AAFL will make any quarterback breaking through more challenging, so finding a way to get on someone's camp roster is critical for Leak. Will it be Kansas City here he comes, the Buffalo Shuffle, or somewhere else?

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