Quarterback Alex Smith
- Pro Bowl (2013, 2016, 2017)
- Second in franchise completion percentage (65.1%)
- First in franchise interception completion (1.4%)
- 50-26 record, with 11 game-winning drives
- 73 approximate value ranked 33rd in franchise history
Yes, quarterback Alex Smith was divisive amongst Chiefs fans. However, he was integral to Kansas City’s current success in several ways.
Smith came to Kansas City via trade, as both he and the team need a change. Kansas City had been searching for a franchise quarterback, and Smith was looking for a franchise. Concussions had knocked him out of the starting role in San Francisco, and the 49ers were ready to move on. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ offense floundered with quarterback Matt Cassel at the helm. His tenure started strong in Kansas City, but the team needed a new quarterback to take the next step.
Smith lead the Chiefs to five straight winning seasons, including an incredible turnaround from 2012’s 2-14 record to 2013’s 11-5 record and playoff appearance. Smith never stuffed the stat sheet, but he wasn’t expected to. The Chiefs’ offense was above average in scoring each year Smith was the quarterback. In 2016, Smith led the Chiefs to their first playoff win since 1993. That alone cemented Smith’s legacy.
Smith’s Hall of Honor case extends beyond the on-field performance. Head coach Andy Reid described how Smith mentored future NFL MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes after Mahomes was drafted.
"“I told Alex, ‘Man go out and have the greatest year you’ve ever had and to you don’t have to teach Pat. We’re here to do that as coaches. You’re out there to go produce and win games and do the best you possibly can for your team.’ And so that’s the way we approached it with him,” Reid told Cowherd. “Now Alex by nature, though, was the greatest thing that ever happened to Patrick Mahomes. There are different ways to do this thing, whether you play the player right now or some behind a veteran player. Alex was perfect for that. Alex did let Patrick into his world without being forced on it or anything and he let Patrick in it."
Smith also had one of the best comeback stories in recent football history, returning to the field following a scary injury in 2018. Smith sustained a compound fracture in the fibula and tibia of his right leg. The gruesome injury led to infection, sepsis, and 17 more surgeries. Smith nearly lost his right leg in the process, but he miraculously recovered and returned to the field for a brief time.
Smith had an NFL career fit for a movie. His best years came in Kansas City, and he helped build a championship foundation for the Chiefs. The franchise should recognize this and add him to the Hall of Honor.