Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Contract negotiations have been ongoing between quarterback Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Smith spearheaded a surprising turnaround after the San Francisco 49ers traded him for a pair of second-round picks. He proved his doubters wrong, throwing for 3,313 yards, 23 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while leading the Chiefs to an improbable 9-0 start and a postseason berth. He also was fourth in the league at his position with 431 rushing yards.
Had his defense not disintegrated against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, Smith might have made another unexpected playoff run. Alas, a 38-10 lead was not enough.
The 30-year-old—yes, he is younger than Brandon Weeden—is due $7.5 million this year, the final one of his contract. He has improved his game over the years, but he is certainly limited.
Specifically, Smith is vertically challenged. That is to say, he doesn’t have a rocket for an arm—he has a career average of 6.5 yards per attempt, which happens to be what he averaged last season.
Still, he is 30-9 as a starter over the past three seasons, and wins are the name of the game despite the fact football is a team sport.
It all boils down to whether the Chiefs want to go back to the uncertainty they had at quarterback before Smith arrived. That should mean a new deal sometime in the next few months.