Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Brandt On Chiefs Negotiations With Alex Smith: I Don’t Know What They Are Going To Do


This is an absolute must-listen for Chiefs fans: Andrew Brandt on Ross Tucker‘s podcast discussing the negotiations between Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs. Here’s the link.

Here’s the main points Brandt makes in his argument about the negotiations between Smith and KC. Tom Condon, who one of the best agents in all of sports, is a guy who will call his terms and then sit on it without budging. Either you give Condon what he asks for or you do not get the player. Pretty simple. Brandt says he knows this based on his personal experiences dealing with Condon in contract negotiations.

Brandt argues Condon has probably put together a very good argument for why Smith should be lumped together in the same tier of players as Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco. The total value of those contracts range from $108 million to $126 million with guarantees ranging hovering around $40 million. Noting the market, the Chiefs situation, and what quarterbacks of Smith caliber got on the open market, there is reason to think Smith could flirt with a contract near $50 million in guaranteed money.

Remember, Smith was a free agent the same year Peyton Manning was a free agent. While San Francisco was making their run at Manning, Smith nearly signed with the Miami Dolphins. Last year when the Chiefs worked out their deal for Smith, Arizona and New York Jets were said to have had offers in on Smith. Should Smith hit the open market next March, he would be the best available quarterback to hit free agency since Manning. Good quarterbacks rarely ever hit the free agent market, let alone in their prime. Miami, Arizona, and the Jets could all very much be interested in Smith, as could a team like the Houston Texans.

Then there is what Smith has done the last three seasons on the field. As dumb as the “quarterback wins stat” is in an argument about the quality of a quarterback, it is going to play well in his favor in contract negotiations. Smith was excellent last year on a team with little to no passing weapons and with a roster that was just coming off a two-win season.

All of the cards are in Smith’s hands.

John Dorsey and Andy Reid have been very clear that they love Alex Smith and they want him to say. They have yet to say a single negative thing about Smith since he set foot in Kansas City. There is absolutely no doubt Smith is their guy and the quarterback they want running their offense. But it is obviously they do not agree with the numbers Condon is throw out. Is it $126 million? Who knows. The numbers are clearly higher than what the Chiefs are willing to pay, otherwise this post would be about all of the things one could buy with a budget of $100-plus million.

An $75-85 million deal with $30 million guaranteed seems way more than a fair deal for Alex, but it is clear, based on his history, that Condon is going to settle on a compromise.

The question for Smith now becomes this: Does Alex wait until March to cash in or does he risk leaving $30 million in guaranteed money on the table and play the season out?

The other option is the possibility the Chiefs could use the franchise tag on Smith next Spring. This works out in terms of keeping him for another year, but the Chiefs will take a $17 million cap hit in order to keep him on the roster. That could prove to be a large blow to the Chiefs chances of keeping Justin Houston, even if they do cut Brandon Flowers and Tamba Hali. Keep in mind also that Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson and Jamaal Charles will be entering the final year of their deals in 2015, and Rodney Hudson will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

It would stand to reason that if the Chiefs cannot get a contract done with Smith then it would makes sense for them to tag and trade Smith next offseason. At least that way the Chiefs could recover some of the picks they gave up to acquire Smith. The likelihood of that actually happening seems low at this point.

As Brandt says, I don’t know what the Chiefs are going to do.

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Tags: Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs

  • Patrick Allen

    If they really can’t afford him then they just have to see how he plays this year. If they have doubts about him being worth big, big money, he can prove to the team that he is this season by beating teams like the Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers and by winning in the playoffs.

    If he can’t compete with those teams and can’t get KC back to the playoffs then the Chiefs have better be working really hard with Bray/Murray to be their QBOT. If one of those two is actually going to be an NFL starter, the Chiefs have 1-2 years to figure it out because Smith is the best QB KC is likely to get its hands on unless they tank next season.

    • Ben Nielsen

      Smith only gets more expensive if he has another big year. Now would seem to be the time to get a deal done if one is going to happen.

      • micah stephenson

        Wow. His version of big yr is not that big compared to other qbs big yrs.

        • Ben Nielsen

          His biggest year includes the greatest statistical performance by a Kansas City Chiefs quarterback in playoff history. So there’s that.

          • unclejesse40

            Based on history, there is the very strong likelihood that Smith will have to miss several games because of injury. Plus the older he gets the less likely he is to avoid the rush with his legs.

      • Patrick Allen

        If he really is asking for what everyone says he is asking for, then he can’t ask for too much more. Besides, if everyone is so worried about committing a bunch of money to him long-term, then let’s go ahead and see if he can take down the league’s best.

        Folks can’t have their cake and eat it too. Either pay the guy now based off his last three seasons or hold out to see if he falls on his face in 2014. If he doesn’t you HAVE to pay him because he will have cemented himself as a franchise guy.

  • Michael Lizalde

    Smith is not the future of the Chiefs. We don’t kill our cap for a guy that is not the future. We need to lock up Houston before we do anything else. Smith will get over paid, and it better not be by us! He’s not worth what he’s asking. He’s injury prone.

    • ekelly10

      Injury prone? He’s had one concussion in his past three seasons. That doesn’t scream injury prone to me.

      • Michael Lizalde

        In his 8 years in the league, he’s played a full season 3 times and never consecutively. I would say that’s injury prone.

        • Ben Nielsen

          In fairness, he was benched a lot early in SF. Not all of those missed games are due to injury.

          • Michael Lizalde

            I will say that I wouldn’t mind us re-signing him, but it better not be anywhere near what he’s asking. If he doesn’t move down a lot, then we will be better off moving on. Now with that said, he missed time in 05 with a knee, 07 with a shoulder, 08 with a shoulder, 2010 with a shoulder, 2011 with a concusion, and 2012 with a concusion. If that’s Tony Moeaki, everyone screams injury prone.

          • phantomebb

            The shoulder injury is well documented, not only did ppl tell him he didnt need surgery when he did, but when he did they left a piece if metal in there and he played through the pain till they figured it out and took it out. Smith isnt injury prone and is easily worth 18 mil a year.

          • Michael Lizalde

            He hasn’t played consecutive seasons without being hurt in his 8 year career. That isn’t anywhere near worth $18 million. If he was worth that, Dorsey would have inked the deal. Smith plays out this year under his contract and he’s gone after this season. A team like the titans, Buccaneers, Jets or cardinals will over pay for him next season.

          • phantomebb

            Face it, there arent more than 5 qbs better than Smith right now, top qbs make 22 mil with 50 guaranteed. 18 mil with 40 is a good price. Your statement about Dorsey is flawed. They have all season to get a deal done, before July 22nd is a bad time to do it just in case they want to add players.

          • Michael Lizalde

            I’m not sure what your referring to about there are not 5 QBs better than Smith. Don’t be blinded by 1 productive year, and don’t be completely blind to how he stacked up to the rest of the QBs in the league. Ranked 17th in yards, ranked tied for 40th in passing average! Ranked 27th in yards per game. Ranked 15th in TDs. Ranked 33rd in 1st down percentage. Ranked 19th in passes over 20. Ranked 23rd in passes over 40. Ranked 16 in QB rating. Do I need to go any further? He’s not a top 5 QB, he’s not even a top 10 QB. He’s an efficient game manager that won’t lose us ball games, but occasionally can put the team on his back and win one. We over pay for this and we are screwed!

          • phantomebb

            I would counter with dont be fooled by stats. Matt staford puts up great stats but he cant complete a pass sometimes to receivers with giant pass catching areas. 2011 and 2013 were very similar. Worst receiving core bottom third of the league pass blocking o line. In 2012 when both got better smith was on pace for a great year in a run first offense. All this being 1st year in systems. He is also great in two stats that really count picking up running 1st downs, and playoff pass rating (which he is #1 in active qbs). There are only 4 qbs I would take over him.

          • Michael Lizalde

            Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck Aaron Rodgers. He wants to be paid like as much and more than these players. Your tellin me he’s worth it. I’m telling you there isn’t a chance in hell he’s worth it.

          • Michael Lizalde

            Biggest difference between them and Alex Smith. They have playoff wins, Super Bowl wins, and they all rank higher than Alex Smith in every passing category that measures success as a QB in the NFL

          • Stan

            Cam and Rivers have not won a SB

          • phantomebb

            Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck. Its funny to me that you even mention Cam Newton or Andrew Luck.

            Luck is a franchise QB but right now he 9 turnovers and a sub 70 rating in 3 playoff games against meh defenses, no doubt he’ll be there one day but not now.

            Newton – have you seen some of his decisions and passes? Has a great defense and still would never make the playoffs unless somehow the saints or falcon fall apart.

            Ben Roethlisberger- This is the closest one to me especially because hes so good at extending plays, but looking at the talent around him. Hes only really won when the talent has just been ridiculous. In the playoffs he has 23 TDs 19 turnovers in 14 games.

            Philip Rivers – again on some amazing teams 11 TDs 10 turnovers 85 rating in 10 playoffs games. Not good enough to beat out Smith.

            Btw Alex Smith has 10 Tds 1 turnover and a 108.6 rating in the playoffs. Pay the man.

          • Michael Lizalde

            Glad you’re not running the team!

          • Stan

            What has Cam or Rivers done better than Smith in the playoffs? Nothing.

          • Michael Lizalde

            Win with the game on the line.

          • Stan

            Do you remember the Saints playoff game in 2011? Look it up. Alex set an NFL playoff record for comeback(s)!!!

          • Stan

            What counts most? Stats or wins? I’ll take wins any day!!

          • Michael Lizalde

            And if your going off of wins/loses, there were 8 other teams that had a better or same regular season record and we didn’t beat any of them when we played against them!

          • Auburn78

            Smith isn’t worth $18 million to Kc simply based on what it would cost us. Say bye to Hali and Houston…or Flowers and Houston. And then we are still going to struggle to pay Charles (who is making peanuts compared to his production). Lets pay the guys that mean more to the makeup of this team. Matt Cassell came in to a bad KC team and made the playoffs once too…. same weak schedule and everything. Made the pro bowl and everything. Should we have paid him 18 million a year? You gotta be smart about just throwing money away when you are against the edge of the cap. AS11 isn’t worth more than 12-13 per year. …sorry.

        • ekelly10

          But not recently, which is the whole point. He’s clearly had better strength and conditioning coaching recently. He took some big hits last year like it was nothing

        • berttheclock

          Absolute tommy rot. There were changes in HC and OCs during that time. Part of not playing consecutive games was due to a new HC wanting to bring in a new QB. So, he was benched, until management realized the two QBs they had brought in were not going to beat him out. Read his damn history. There is a very bio of him up at Wiki. Read the part where Chris Collingsworth thought Jay Cutler was better and the Niners should have taken him. Alex Smith had a terrific game that night and CC had to eat his words.

    • berttheclock

      He has worked his way through every injury, including his shoulder separation when he was sacked. That ended up with surgery and he fought his way back to the top.

  • Hawthorne

    Offer Condon a reasonable deal, if he doesn’t take it, let Smith play out the year. With a patchwork Oline and a schedule from hell, his value might just be dipping by the end of the season anyway.

    • niner559

      Don’t count on him having a difficult time in the NFC West, he knows that division very well. He has performed very well in the NFC West. Don’t kid yourself, his value will not drop.

  • Lorenzo

    Why did we not sign this man earlier? I understand where Smith stands and wants to be recognized. Then again what can we afford and if that is even a factor to AS11. I like Smith and want him back in KC.

  • berttheclock

    Tom Condon, Now, would that be the same Tom Condon who represents Peyton Manning? Yes, he does play hard ball.

  • Calchiefsfan

    Funny thing is that every QB on that list is overpaid based on there production and how they stack up against other QBs. Will someone overpay for Smith in two years? That’s how long we have him for if we don’t get a deal done. Restructering Hali, Flowers and Berry’s contracts would help. Chase Daniels 3 million will probably be available plus the $10 mil increase in the cap. Dorsey should be able to do all of this. Condon is taking a risk as well. Maybe he doesn’t blink, but I think he’s smarter than that.

    • Stan

      What happens if the Chiefs do not restructure Alex and he gets down on the Chiefs and feels they let him down and his play goes down. Then what for 2015? Back to our losing ways that’s what!!!.

      • Calchiefsfan

        I don’t think Smith’s play will go down for the simple fact that it would cost him millions in negotiating his next contract with another team if he can’t get one done with the Chiefs. I still believe that the Chiefs and Smith will hit a middle ground and make it happen. It’s in everyone’s best interest.

  • Jeffrey Fisher

    Romo, Cutler, Flacco, and Ryan are all over Paid! They have No SB rings! Peyton has one! Could any of those QB’s having Mannings weapons do what Manning did? I think not! Could Smith? We don’t know.. He has the likes of Stoned Bowe, Iron hands Jenkins, and Granite hands Avery!! I don’t think One season does a Big Contract Make. Matt Cassel ring any bells?

    • Ben Nielsen

      Flacco does have a Super Bowl ring, Peyton is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Do agree KC needs to be wary of overpaying.

  • Andy

    You are right that the numbers favor a more than generous pay day for Smith. Add to that Condon is a jerk, and it looks bad for the chiefs signing him. One other thing against the chiefs are the fat contracts Bowe, Berry and Flowers got. BUT the things the chiefs offer are compelling as well. Smith has a fan base that love him, a real head coach who can make him better and I don’t think Smith wants to learn another offense so late in his career. I hope Smith lives in Realville

  • jimfromkcj

    What’s wrong with getting rid of Berry, Hali, Flowers and Bowe for picks and getting our cap in order and rebuild with younger cheaper players and getting a franchise QB in the next couple of years. Time has run out for the core group of players we have now. I can stand a couple more sub par years if we spent it getting out of cap hell and stocking up both off and def lines with good quality people. And learn to be able to ignore the fans when they say pay the man.

  • steve james

    7 years 56 million guaranteed. 113 million total. That is what I feel he is worth to the Chiefs. Whether or not Dorsey can massage things enough I don’t know. It seems to me people are very forgetful. With Cassel it was all “we need a franchise qb” We have one now keep his AS (:P) in KC!! Second thought do you guys forget Dorsey & Reid saying they don’t believe in “rebuilding” ? They want to win now every year & I agree. Rebuilding is an excuse people say to make themselves feel better when their team sucks. Dorsey may believe in BPA but its hard to think taking Murray wasn’t done with an eye towards putting pressure on AS. I would think he would want to lock his position in & asking for 126 is a good way to do that. Would you bench your 126 million dollar qb to start a Rookie or even a sophomore? Quite the showdown really. I can’t blame either AS or the Chiefs. We as fans are just not used to the big boy world of football when you have a qb other teams would start over their incumbants day one. You have to pay for that or live in backup quality qb play hell like we have since Trent imho.

  • Stan

    Why is it when Alex wins it’s a team game but when the team loses it’s all on Alex. Football is a team game period. Offense, defense and special teams. The years the niners won all their Super Bowls they had great defenses and not just Joe Montana who by the way had the best wide out ever in Jerry Rice. And we’re dreaming if we think an undrafted QB or a 5th round QB will bring the Chiefs great rewards.