The full free agency period doesn’t start until Friday, but that doesn’t prevent teams from signing players that are already free agents. The Chiefs did just that by signing QB Tyler Palko.
Palko (6-1, 215) was on the 53-man roster for two games with Pittsburgh in 2009. He attended training camp with Arizona a year ago and went to camp with New Orleans in 2008. Palko spent four games on the Saints 53-man roster in 2007, in addition to a stint on that club’s practice squad. He entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with New Orleans in 2007.
A three-year starter at the University of Pittsburgh, Palko completed 645 of 1,075 passes for 8,343 yards with 66 TDs and 25 INTs, trailing only QB Dan Marino (79) for the most TD passes in Pitt history. He played quarterback and safety at West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pennsylvania, where he guided his club to a state championship in 2001.
Obviously Todd Haley is familiar with Palko from their time together in Arizona, but Palko also (sort of) has a connection to Kansas City offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
Back in 2004, while Palko was at Pitt, he became the first opposing quarterback to throw for five touchdowns in a game as a visiting player against Notre Dame. The Panthers won that game on a last second FG 41-38. It was the beginning of a three game losing streak for the Irish that led to head coach Ty Willingham being fired. He was replaced by Weis.
Palko was known more for his postgame celebration from that game than his record setting performance. During his live on-field interview with NBC he let a not-so-nice word fly.
“I’m so f-ing proud of this team,” Palko said.
One of his other notable highlights while at Pitt was destroying Adam “Pacman” Jones.
Palko is lucky they weren’t out at a club, or he really would have been in trouble.
As long as Matt Cassel, Brodie Croyle and Matt Gutierrez are on the roster it would be a stretch to think Palko has a shot to make the team. The familiarity with Haley and how he operates can only help, but he’s facing an uphill battle between now and final cuts.