Alex Smith’s trade value and the 2018 quarterback market

Jan 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 5
Next
KANSAS CITY, MP – JANUARY 15: Quarterback Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MP – JANUARY 15: Quarterback Alex Smith /

Once the dust settles, there are going to be a few teams willing to take a chance on Alex Smith because beyond the more exciting veterans and the sexy rookies, there are still a handful of teams who have serious needs and maybe even an immediate starter. Every one of those teams would do well to grab Smith, even at age 34, than A.J. McCarron, Sam Bradford or any of the other possibilities made available on the market. That’s good news for the Chiefs.

Consider the following prices paid in recent trades:

  1. Kevin Kolb, 2012 – CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 2nd round pick from ARI
  2. Carson Palmer, 2011 – 1st & 2nd round picks from OAK (Remember Palmer was “retired’ and CIN had zero leverage)
  3. Carson Palmer, 2013 – 6th & 7th round picks from ARI
  4. Sam Bradford, 2016 – 1st & 4th round picks from MIN
  5. Jay Cutler, 2009 – 2 1st round picks, a 3rd and Kyle Orton from CHI

Alex Smith lives somewhere in the midst of this constellation of deals, which makes it difficult to navigate. Consider this: he’s older (even much older) than most of these quarterbacks when they were traded and the second Carson Palmer trade sounds like a depressing return. Palmer was the same age as Smith, but he was also coming off of a two-year record of 8-16 with the Raiders. On the flip side, the Chiefs have one of the surest options on the market.

All of this is guesswork, of course. The trade chart can sometimes feel outdated and silly to use when just comparing picks, so it’s nearly impossible to draw on specifics when it comes to trading players for picks. There are simply too many variables.

That said, even in a much more crowded market than this offseason, Smith still should have plenty in the tank and numerous teams who could use him. If the Chiefs have found their man in Patrick Mahomes, then the price was absolutely worth paying in the first place. Yet somehow everyone seems to have also forgotten that the Chiefs will end up recouping much of what they’ve paid when they decide to deal their current starter. That’s a nice turnaround for a GM who always seems in control.

Random guess (seriously a total guess): Alex Smith is traded to Washington next March and shortly thereafter agrees to a new three-year contract extension. The return for the Chiefs: second and fourth round selections in the 2018 NFL Draft.