Alex Smith is a good quarterback. He is not at the “elite” level, but his play is solid. He does many things well and has no major flaws. His first year in Kansas City was successful, considering the lack of help he had on offense. Currently the Chiefs have engaged in talks with his agent about a contract extension. This is good for Kansas City, as the Chiefs look to move forward with Smith at the helm.
Smith was brought in from San Francisco for a 2013 second round pick and a 2014 third round conditional pick. That pick would convert into a second round pick if the Chiefs won 8 games. Kansas City won eleven and the 49ers received the upgraded pick. Smith’s numbers for the first year were solid; 3,313 yards passing, completing 60% of his passes, 23 TD’s, 7 picks. He also added 431 yards on the ground, another solid part of his game. Smith accomplished these feats in the first year of Andy Reid’s offense, throwing primarily to Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, and Jamaal Charles. These are solid numbers considering the cast. Bowe lacks the speed and separation to be a legit #1 receiver and Avery is… well Donnie Avery. That was the Chiefs vertical threat, making it difficult to stretch the field. Charles will continue to get a heavy load of catches out of the backfield in Reid’s offense the way he used Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy in Philly. He utilizes the west coast offense and Charles is a perfect fit. Smith was not asked to do much in the first half of the season, as Kansas City’s defense was dominating games. Alex failed to throw a touchdown in five of the first ten games, game ten being their first loss. When asked to do more he did. Only failing to throw for a TD once in the final six games. In addition, Smith had a rating of over 100 in three of the last six games, posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating in one match. That is a clear sign of someone getting comfortable with the offense as the season progressed. The biggest factor for me was the playoff game. I, as most Kansas City fans, have been frustrated with the quarterback play over the past decade. I demanded more than an average game from Smith and he delivered. He moved the chains when he had to, took what the defense gave him, and took his shots when they were there. He put Kansas City in prime position to win that game putting up 44 points before the epic collapse. Rather than drafting a quarterback that you are not sure of in the first round, with pick 23, it makes sense for the Chiefs to extend Alex this off-season.
Well at what cost? If you did not get the memo, quarterbacks get paid the “big bucks.” Currently there are nine quarterbacks making over $90 million. They collectively have six super bowl wins, with Eli Manning being the only quarterback that has two. No, I am not including Tom Brady because of his current contract. Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers have not even won a conference title and three of those four get paid over 100 million. Rivers being the odd man out making a “measly” $92 million. They do have one thing in common with Alex, they are all good quarterbacks and have at least one playoff win. In the current market, Alex is going to make bank if the Chiefs extend him. There have been multiple reports that he is seeking around $17 million a year. Considering Smith is 29 this very well could be his last big contract and he will look to cash in. Three years would be the ideal for Kansas City, but I believe Smith will be looking for 4+. Guaranteed money is where the Chiefs future lies. On average, these nine are getting 35% of their money, guaranteed. The two exceptions for the lower guarantee are Joe Flacco and Cutler. Flacco gets 24% and Cutler gets 30%. A blueprint for the Chiefs. I expect Alex’s contract to be around 5 years for $90 million. Look for the Chiefs to get the guaranteed money around 25%. They will look to guarantee around $25 million, which would be ideal for the Chiefs if they look to cut ties with Smith after three years.
Again Alex Smith is not an elite quarterback but is very solid. The days where you had to be elite to get big money are over. It is proven with the above listed quarterbacks. The Chiefs can win with Smith right now. They have him and it makes sense to keep him. Again, the future is bright in Kansas City with the talent currently incorporated on the team. They need add a key wide receiver and tight end via draft or free agency to make the most of every ounce of talent Smith has to offer. After these things are done, I expect Smith to blossom in Andy Reid’s offense.
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