The Kansas City Chiefs won twelve games and the AFC West with Alex Smith, but already there is talk about him playing somewhere else in 2017.
You would almost think the Kansas City Chiefs had finished 4-12 instead of 12-4. A couple of days removed from a disappointing loss in the divisional round of the playoffs, Chiefs fans are still frothing. Of course, the target of their ire is going to be Alex Smith, and the sports media world is ready to pounce on it. That is the case as nj.com’s Connor Hughes is now biting on a supposedly “non-committal” Andy Reid.
The premise of this is that Andy Reid would not commit to Alex Smith as the Chiefs quarterback moving forward. Look, we all understand that the question about Smith’s future had to be asked. However, I didn’t hear anything that sounded like Reid being ready to move on from his starting quarterback.
At the presser, Reid said: “Do I still think we can win with Alex? Yeah, we were right there.” That might not be saying flat out that Smith is going to be back in 2017, but there is nothing there to indicate that he won’t be. Connor Hughes even admits as much in his piece. However, that doesn’t stop him from linking Alex Smith to the New York Jets.
“Do I still think we can win with Alex? Yeah, we were right there.” ~ Andy Reid on quarterback Alex Smith
Hughes argues that the Jets could want Alex Smith to come in and mentor Christian Hackenberg. Ah, now this makes sense. Jets fans still think Hackenberg might be the savior. So of course any scenario to play that out will be one they promote. Of course, there are just a few problems with that line of thinking…
So Easy On Paper
This is where fan and pundit thinking goes so wrong in the offseason. Everything suddenly turns into a “we’ll just do this” argument. Well, if that were that simple then no team would ever have a problem. The Chiefs moving on from Alex Smith presents a number of issues here:
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The Chiefs just went 12-4 and won the AFC West. That’s not a small task and Alex Smith played a major role in the success. So who exactly is it that KC will bring in and instantaneously enjoy the same level of success? Some will argue Nick Foles is the man, despite the fact he was the backup all season. What about a draft pick? Check the numbers, rarely do rookie quarterbacks come in and start off great.
There is also the cost consideration. Kansas City currently has Alex Smith at a pretty reasonable price tag. They can technically save money by releasing Smith, but that assumes they don’t sign another quarterback. That limits their options to Nick Foles or a draft pick. I’ve already discussed why that isn’t ideal. Not to mention, the Chiefs actually save more money by releasing Foles.
Finally, what is the trade compensation going to look like? Well, Connor Hughes suggests the Chiefs accept only a conditional fourth round pick. Son, are you high right now?
As I’ve said from the beginning, Alex Smith is an excellent quarterback to serve as a bridge until the Chiefs get their guy for the future. However, the team shouldn’t just go out and bring in a new quarterback just for the sake of doing it. In the same light, they shouldn’t just get rid of Alex Smith because they can.