Jordan Ta'amu, who excelled at quarterback for the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL, is going to get a chance in the NFL with another Missouri team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ta'amu, a 22-year-old from Hawaii who played in parts of two seasons at the University of Mississippi, agreed to terms with the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Monday. His agent, Kenny Zuckerman, announced the deal on Twitter. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Chiefs have four quarterbacks on their offseason roster: standout starter Patrick Mahomes as well as Chad Henne and Kyle Shurmer. Ta'amu will be battling with the latter two for a backup job.
Ta'amu completed 72 percent of his passes this season, best in the XFL. In five games, he completed 97 of 134 passes for 1,050 yards while throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions. He also finished among the league's top rushers, carrying the ball 41 times for 217 yards and a touchdown.
He helped the BattleHawks finish 3-2 and in a three-way tie for first in the XFL East. The league recently shut down because of the coronavirus at what would have been its midpoint.
"Appreciate the love and support the fans & community gave me in St. Louis!!' Ta'amu tweeted then. "Not sure what the future holds but I'd come back in a heartbeat. Definitely a place to be and I will always cherish this first season."
The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder was not picked in the NFL draft and was in camp with the Houston Texans late last summer.
Ta'amu began his college career at New Mexico Military Institute before finishing with two seasons at Ole Miss. In 2017, he began the season as a back-up to Shea Patterson but came on to start the final five games after Patterson was hurt. As a junior, he passed for 1,682 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. That season, he also rushed for 165 yards and four TDs.
After Patterson transferred to Michigan, Ta'amu became the senior starter at Ole Miss. He threw for 3,918 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions while rushing for 342 yards and six scores. He finished that season ranked second in Southeastern Conference passing yards, behind Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa — one of the top quarterback prospects in the upcoming NFL draft.
Ta'amu broke the Mississippi school record for 400-yard passing games, with four, and finished as the program's sixth career passer.
Allocated to the BattleHawks by the XFL, Ta'amu was the first player named to their roster and was the only one of the league's allocated quarterbacks who entered with no professional experience. He began his pro career with a bang, throwing for 209 yards and rushing for another 77 in a season-opening 15-9 BattleHawks victory in Dallas over the Renegades.
Earlier on Monday, the Carolina Panthers signed quarterback P.J. Walker, formerly of the XFL's Houston Roughnecks, to a two-year deal.