Now, I was originally going to title this the pros and cons of extending Alex Smith‘s contract. However, as I thought more about it, the cons are so small that they aren’t even worthy of making the title.
I am a huge Alex Smith supporter. My support of Alex stems from quite a few different things, but I think the most important aspect of it is that the last quarterback who I really enjoyed to watch and supported was Trent Green. Now, Trent wasn’t an elite quarterback, but he led the team and I could tell that people respected him. The last time that Trent Green played for the Chiefs was back in 2006. I was in 6th grade at the time, proud owner of a new Derrick Johnson jersey, a second year linebacker for us. In other words, it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a Chiefs quarterback.
Besides that, I feel that Alex is undervalued by a lot of people. I played quarterback in high school, and I wasn’t the best QB in our league by far, but my team did fairly well and won some games. Alex is in a similar situation. (Note: I’m not comparing myself to Alex Smith talent wise. Come on people, I’m young, but I’m not idiotic.) Alex has been a consistent winner during his time in the league, yet constantly gets overlooked because he isn’t one of the big name gunslinger quarterback who makes the big bucks. However, I think he is exactly what we need at the moment. Here are a few reasons why.
January 24, 2014; Kapolei, HI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass during the 2014 Pro Bowl practice at Kapolei High School. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
When you read this next sentence, please continue for at least a few more and give me a chance to explain myself: Alex Smith should get paid more than Tom Brady on a per year basis. Right now, Brady’s deal is a little less than 12 million per year, and I think Alex deserves more than that. Am I saying we should pay a ridiculously large sum? No, just that Alex deserves good money. If you look at the list of quarterback contracts, there is no good quarterback (besides Brady and those on rookie deals still) whose deal was less than 13 million a year. (Sam Bradford brings in 13 million a year). Do you really think Alex Smith isn’t as good/doesn’t deserve to make as much as Bradford? Going off of that, that’s the smaller end of the scale. You’ve seen those gargantuan quarterback contracts, and yet we could ink a quality quarterback for a fraction of that. 4 or 5 years for between 52 and 65 million would be nothing to land a winner, someone who has proven his worth in his short time here with the Chiefs.
Possibly the most overlooked part of Smith is his athleticism. Countless times last year, Alex was able to extend plays long enough to get a pass off, or create something with his legs. Also, he eclipsed Tyler Thigpen as the Chiefs’ single season rushing yardage record holder for quarterbacks, and was the second leading rusher on the team. The first time I truly appreciated his athleticism was the divisional round in 2012. On a designed run, Smith took a quarterback sweep nearly 30 yards to the house in a tightly contested game. While the blocking was excellent, some of the credit has to go to Smith. Besides that, while people question his lack of deep passes, it’s not because of a lack of arm strength, as proven in a playoff game I only vaguely remember. Alex consistently makes the throws he needs to make, and is quick enough to make things happen.
Dec 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) reacts after the Chiefs rushed for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 56-31. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
At this point, it’s hard to argue that quarterback isn’t the most important position on the team. As Chiefs fans, you all should have noticed that, as the talent has been here for a few years now, and just wasn’t utilized very well until Reid and Dorsey took control (and brought along Alex). Alex provides leadership and consistency in the place we, along with every team in the NFL, need it most. Besides being in a natural leadership position by playing quarterback, Alex is generally well-respected by the team and has been praised by Andy Reid multiple times for his leadership. Derrick Johnson recently spoke with the media about the positive presence Alex has in the locker room.
Now, while the cons may not make the title, I feel as if I should mention them here. People consistently rag on Alex Smith for not throwing the deep ball. If you want to go over that debate, there are multiple comment sections of articles specifically about that. However, Alex proved he can throw the deep ball in the playoff game against Indy, he just chooses not too. While people hate the checkdowns, its hard to argue against results. Alex consistently led our offense, especially the second half of the season. Checkdowns or not, points are points.
People also have complained that the money he wants/contract number rumors are way to high. Instead of rehashing the same things, I recommend you scroll up to the section titled “Value” if you have qualms about the price.
Finally, the one argument that has some support is that Alex Smith isn’t the quarterback of the future. This is absolutely correct. He could very well be the quarterback of the next few years, but he isn’t our long-term guy. While this is true, my first thought is, who cares? If Aaron Rodgers wasn’t your “QB of the future” would you just up and not sign him? No. So why shouldn’t we lock up a guy who can win for us? And, while he wins us games in the present, our next quarterback can be prepared for taking over the reins, all while learning from an experienced veteran. Whether that quarterback is in-house or not remains to be seen, but our starting quarterback for the next few years is definitely in-house, and we need to lock him in while we can.