Alex Smith Rumors: Chiefs to Explore Trade; Ian Rapoport Links Browns, Cardinals

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2018

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Quarterback Alex Smith's tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs may be over following a 22-21 playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

On Sunday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said the Chiefs "are going to explore trade options" regarding their signal-caller and pointed to the team's belief that Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback of the future as a driving factor.

Rapoport named the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals as potential landing sports for Smith, noting "his value is never going to be higher:"

The Browns and Cardinals make sense as destinations considering Cleveland is still searching for stability at the position following an 0-16 mark in its 10th straight losing season and Arizona is looking for a quarterback after Carson Palmer retired.

Trading for Smith would also allow the Browns to address other areas of need with the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in the 2018 NFL draft.

While Saturday's loss—the Chiefs blew a 21-3 third-quarter lead at home against the Titans—is fresh, it didn't take away from what Smith did during the regular season. He set career highs with 4,042 passing yards and 26 touchdown throws and only tossed five interceptions—his fewest since 2012, when he was with the San Francisco 49ers.

The two-time Pro Bowler led Kansas City to a 10-6 record and the AFC West title and didn't appear to be slowing down at age 33.

The Chiefs, however, paid a significant price to land Mahomes: They traded the No. 27 overall pick and a third-round pick in the 2017 draft as well as a first-round pick in the 2018 draft to the Buffalo Bills to move up to No. 10 to select the Texas Tech product.

Trading Smith would open the door for the 22-year-old, and Kansas City would get something in return as it makes the transition at quarterback.

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