Why the quarterback is so vital to the Chiefs 2017 draft
By John McCarty
The Chiefs can create, with a release or trade of Alex Smith following the 2017 season, a staggering $17 million in cap space, leaving only $3.6 million behind in dead money. If you combine the near $15 million in cap savings the Chiefs will add with the release of Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson following the 2017 season, Kansas City can really add some breathing room financially going into the offseason.
If Alex Smith isn’t good enough to win the Super Bowl (and based on what Chiefs fans have seen and his reputation was coming over from San Francisco), it certainly appears there is a hard ceiling on what the Chiefs can accomplish with Smith under center. Since it appears to be all but certain that Smith will be the Chiefs starting QB in 2017, the Chifes can look to find a replacement now. Drafting a quarterback at this stage would allow the Chiefs to let that player learn for a year as an understudy for Smith before being asked to take over the position on a team that’s deep in talent.
A quarterback in the first round is ideal, as the Chiefs could allow the player to sit for a season, learning under Smith and Andy Reid, and then allow the Chiefs two seasons of play before they would need to determine if they wanted to pick up the fifth-year option on the contract.