Kansas City Chiefs franchise quarterback Alex Smith is heading into the final year of his deal, and he’ll be paid $7.5 million for his efforts. Smith was one of the big reasons for the Chiefs massive turnaround in 2013, as he did a great job of managing the offense and showing his trademark accuracy, decision-making, and mobility. He should be better next season with Dwayne Bowe set to improve, Travis Kelce returning to health, and with another year of experience in the Chiefs offense under his belt.
The big elephant in the room when talking about Smith is his impending contract extension, which will likely be right in line with what other franchise QBs are making. Smith told the Kansas City Star’s Randy Covitz that he hopes he can agree to a fair deal and continue his career with the Chiefs organization, “I’d love to have it done. I love Kansas City, I love the coaching staff, the players. … But when you’re talking about this many years and that type of deal, you want it done right. You want both sides happy, and you want it to be something that is going to last and you can play out. A lot of things go into it.”
Smith made sure to give the “but we’ll see” statement in there, but it’s clear that he would like to get something done. The 30-year-old always says the right things, but I wonder how far the Chiefs are willing to go in negotiations. There have been reports that Smith is looking for Jay Cutler money (around $18 million a year), whereas the Chiefs are unwilling to meet him there and would rather pay him around $15 million.While Smith is a solid quarterback who is underrated by some, he doesn’t have the physical tools to warrant that big of a contract, since he lacks that sort of upside as a QB. That said, he did well with little around him at WR last year, and he’s still in the prime of his career.
Hopefully neither side drops the ball and a fair deal can be reached, because it would be a shame to have to watch the Chiefs hunt for another franchise QB. This team is built on defense and running the ball, so a game manager like Smith is actually a perfect fit. As we saw against the Indianapolis Colts, he has the ability to do much more if needed.