Alex Smith, quarterback
There is a reasonable line of thinking that includes Alex Smith coming back in 2018, and we would be ignorant to pretend that option does not exist. Teams need to be two-deep at quarterback these days, and there’s a reason that New England kept Jimmy Garoppolo for as long as they possible could before getting a decent return.
Insurance is always worth it, even if you don’t need/use it. If Smith were willing to return to the Chiefs on a reworked deal that eases the financial burden for 2018, it’s possible Smith is back in tandem with Patrick Mahomes in 2018.
With that said, however, there are more signs pointing to Smith playing elsewhere in 2018. His stock remains high so a trade return should net a decent enough haul of draft assets in a year in which the Chiefs are down a few picks. Mahomes looked good in the preseason and even better in his Week 17 start, so any idea that he’s not ready should be set aside.
Kansas City Chiefs
Even more importantly, Mahomes is going to be cheap for the next three seasons, giving the Chiefs considerable room in which to sign and extend other players while the game’s most expensive position stays affordable.
If Smith is gone after this season, then he deserves our first mention here because of what he’s meant to the team. Ever since he first came over from the San Francisco 49ers, he has been a model of consistency, helping to immediately right the ship under head coach Andy Reid.
Smith provided a strong leader on and off the field and avoided mistakes as the Chiefs grew back into a contender.
Smith went 50-26 with the Chiefs during the regular season. That’s fifty wins. He threw 102 touchdowns and only 33 interceptions. He also rushed for another 10 touchdowns, showing off his underrated athleticism and keeping defenses on their heels with his ability to escape the pocket and move the chains.
And if you needed a great reason to love Alex Smith, he put up his best statistical season by a country mile while maintaining a constant smile and professional attitude even as he knew he was being shown the door. He’s a class act with the talent to match and Chiefs Kingdom should pause and pay tribute to one of the finest quarterbacks in franchise history. It’s been a great five years.