Andy Reid told the NFL Network this morning the Chiefs are in “open communication” with Alex Smith regarding a new contract. While he said general manager John Dorsey his handling all of the negotiation, Reid said in his experience that when there is open communication that something tends to get done.
Andy Reid tells @NFL_AM the Chiefs are in ‘open communication’ with Alex Smith on a new contract. ‘I’m sure something will get done.’
— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) May 27, 2014
To further the notion the Chiefs may be getting close to a deal with Smith, Smith said at OTAs today that he feels good about the potential of getting a deal done with the Chiefs.
Everything looks good, right? Reid says a deal will happen, Smith sounds positive, so everything is looking good. Apparently not.
On NFL Insiders, Ed Werder on #Chiefs talks with contract-year QB Alex Smith: “Substantial differences” & “sense of pessimism” about a deal.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) May 27, 2014
Okay, maybe this is just a national guy being a little behind on the uptake. Maybe there was a new development in negotiations or Werdner’s source is misinformed. Whatever, it happens.
I’m told that extension talks between the #Chiefs & Alex Smith have been “almost nonexistent” in recent months, per a league source.
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) May 27, 2014
Now we’ve got a conundrum. On one hand the Chiefs are in “open communications” with Smith and on the other hand the Chiefs basically are not talking to Smith. What exactly are we supposed to make of this?
One train of thought here is both sides are trying to gain footing in negotiations with each side clearly demonstrating a desire to keep Smith in Kansas City while at the same time putting a flag in the ground in terms of contract demands. Should a deal get done it is going to probably happen between early June and late August so it would make sense for both sides to be in the early stages of a negotiation. In fact, considering how busy Dorsey has been with the draft and free agency it would make sense that neither side has talked about an extension.
There may also be an element of a standoff here. Projections for Smith’s new deal would make him a top 10 paid quarterback in the league, and while Smith is a good quarterback, he’s not a quarterback worth giving top 10 money to. The Chiefs drafted Aaron Murray and are a year into developing Tyler Bray, both of whom have starting upside. The need to overpay Smith long-term isn’t there.
One thing is for sure, the phase of re-signing/extending players appears to have begun.