The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to lock up QB Alex Smith for the foreseeable future this offseason, according to Jason Cole of the National Football Post.
Smith led the Chiefs as they went from 2-14 in 2012 to an 11-5 record and playoff appearance this season. He has one year left on a three-year deal he signed in 2012. The final year is worth $7.5 million, all of that in base salary, making Smith vastly underpaid compared to other quarter-backs of his experience and ability.
For example, Jay Cutler signed a seven-year, $126.7 million contract last week with Chicago. That deal included $54 million guaranteed in the first three years.
Smith was terrific for the Chiefs last season and was arguably the primary reason the team was able to turn things around, all due respect to Andy Reid.
While Reid’s coaching surely helped the Chiefs play a smarter and more disciplined brand of football, Smith’s smarts and ability on the field is what helped the Chiefs roll to a 9-0 start. Not all of KC’s early season victories came easily, and if it was not for Smith taking great care of the football, the Chiefs may not have made the playoffs at all.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Smith’s season was that he improved as the year progressed. Smith capped his season with one of the best QB performances in Chiefs playoff history. He threw for 378 yards, with four TDs and no interceptions. Although he did have one crucial fumble, the loss can hardly be placed on Smith’s shoulders. The QB lost his second best receiver and his running back and did what franchise QBs do; put the team on his back.
At this point, there shouldn’t be much doubt that Smith can win without former coach Jim Harbaugh. There also shouldn’t be much doubt that he can help the Chiefs be a consistent winner.
Smith is one of those QBs that is likely to have detractors, even should he lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory (see Manning, Eli).
The fact of the matter is, Smith is the guy the folks running the Chiefs wanted last offseason and the QB did nothing but reward them for their faith in 2013.
The Chiefs are wise to lock Smith up now. KC is all in on Alex Smith so if you aren’t on his bandwagon, you might as well hop aboard. He’s going to be around for a while.