OTC: Chiefs Make Alex Smith A $68MM Man & Their Starting QB For 4 More Years

“After an intense and largely secretive day of negotiations, the Chiefs and Smith have worked out a four-year, $68 million extension. Per a league source, Smith gets $30 million guaranteed at signing.  Another $15 million in injury-only guarantee vests in March 2015. … Now, Smith has a contract that is much, much (did I say much?) better than the team-friendly deal that Kaepernick signed earlier this year.”
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com
GH: Okay, this surprised me. The experts led us to believe that the Chiefs would franchise Smith after this season and then cut him loose after next year in favor of Andy Reid’s next QB project – hopefully Aaron Murray. It looks like the 30-year-old Smith is the QB who will make or break Andy Reid’s and John Dorsey’s legacy here in Kansas City.

“John Dorsey is onboard with the (Alex Smith) deal or else it wouldn’t have gotten done. Who is the alpha male at One Arrowhead Drive? It is clearly Andy Reid. This is an Andy Reid move. My question is why hurry? Why hurry to hitch your wagon to Alex Smith.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“Kansas City GM John Dorsey did the right thing Sunday evening, putting the finishing touches on a four-year contract extension for Alex Smith that will pay him, on average, $15.1 million over the next five years. (That includes his $7.5-million salary this year, the last year of the contract he signed in San Francisco before being traded to Kansas City 17 months ago.) … Folks, it’s okay to change your minds about a player. Alex Smith of 2014 isn’t Alex Smith of 2007. He’s a pretty good player. Not the best quarterback in football. Not in the top five, or the top 10 probably. But on a given day, he can play with any quarterback, and he’s certainly not the impediment to winning that so many people in Football America view him to be. He’s going to complete 64 percent or so of his throws, he’s going to limit mistakes, and he’s going to give Kansas City a good chance to win most Sundays. In this current landscape at quarterback, with the alternatives the Chiefs faced (Aaron Murray in 2015 or ’16, or Chase Daniel, or some other draftee or retread), Dorsey made a smart move.”
Peter King, SI.com

“John Dorsey is still a tremendous unknown as a general manager and as a drafter. Do you really think (Smith) would have been more expensive if they would have waited a year?” Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I don’t see any reasonable alternative to this. That’s part of the problem.”
Adam Teicher, discussing the Chiefs decision to sign Alex Smith, 810 AM

“It was a priority of ours to get this deal done and keep Alex in a Chiefs uniform long-term. Alex is a proven leader on and off the field. He is a special individual with a lot of ability, and we are fortunate to have him here.”
John Dorsey, Chiefs GM, ESPN.com
GH: I like Smith more than most. But his talent may not be enough with the offensive line and limited receiver corps that Dorsey and Reid have provided him here in KC. I don’t think saving $1.5 million by cutting Ryan Succop is going to be the answer to filling those holes.

“He just kind of came in and captured everybody with his ability. He doesn’t say much. He just lines up. He gave us every confidence that he could do it.”
Andy Reid, on the Chiefs decision to cut placekicker Ryan Succop in favor of the undrafted rookie Carlos Santos out of Tulane, 610 AM
GH: The Brazilian-born Santos is one of the Chiefs preseason’s best stories – not that there were a lot from which to pick.

“Wow…don’t know where to start. What an awesome 5 yrs in KC! I loved every minute of being a @KCChiefs. So blessed to have played for such a great organization, fans, coaches & teammates. Too many great memories to count. Thank you Kansas City! #blessed #thankful.”
Ryan Succop, @ryansuccop, Twitter GH: Succop’s classy email should be a template for other professional athletes on how to depart a franchise and a city. Succop has since signed with Tennessee – the Chiefs opponent this Sunday at Arrowhead.

“I still have a lot of questions about Dontari Poe. Am I the only one who has questions about Dontari Poe? Is he going to be a destructive force (in the Chiefs defensive line) throughout the entire season? I like Dontari Poe, I just think he has something to prove. He was mostly a non-factor the second half of the season. Am I the only one who saw that?”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Steven St. John and Nick Leckey quickly reminded Bukaty that Poe played almost 400 more snaps than any other NFL defensive tackle last season. While Poe may have worn down last November and December, his play will be key to getting the Chiefs pass rushers a lane to the QB.

“Put me on the island with Nate. I think he’s got a lot to prove. I think it’s time for Dontari Poe and to get better production out of that defensive line.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I think the (Chiefs) secondary is brutal! It’s the worst I can remember as a Kansas City Chiefs fan.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: All the more reason for Poe and the Chiefs pass rush to get to the quarterback.

“You’re going to go to war with Alex Smith? Then Bob Sutton better kick ass on defense!” Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I think Bob Sutton is a great coach but if it’s not working, it’s not working and you have to do something else.”
Adam Teicher, on the Chiefs defensive coordinator, 810 AM

“I think we’ll get better as we get more familiar with each other and play together throughout the season. That doesn’t mean we’re a bad group to start.”
Andy Reid, in an interview Monday with Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe and Klingler used Labor Day to get in some private time with the Chiefs head coach and it paid off with some quality sound and comments that didn’t have the annoying locker room or press conference ambient noise. Reid sounded upbeat but that is one of Big Red’s best attributes. He is a master at handling the media and his outward emotions.

“We were the second youngest team in the National Football League last year.”
Andy Reid, responding the Fescoe asking him what he learned from the Chiefs loss at Indianapolis in last season’s playoffs, 610 AM
GH: Reid listed some other things he learned in that disappointing collapse at Indianapolis but the youthfulness of his team was the second item (excuse?) he mentioned. Does that mean his team will be better this season after another year of experience? If so, they have an odd way of displaying their improvement.

“I love that even-keel attitude with Andy Reid. I made that Ned Yost comparison.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Is Ned Yost even-keeled? It is true that he refuses to criticize his players and he is very predictable in what he is going to say at a press conference. But he strikes me more as a guy who detests the part of his job that requires him to speak to the media than someone who has a handle on his emotions.

“The Chiefs’ performance in the second half of last season was more true to the makeup of their roster than what we saw in the first half. A winning record will be tough to achieve in 2014.”
Peter King, SI.com
GH: Nine wins is a winning record in the NFL. I think the Chiefs will struggle to win six. I am hoping to be surprised.

[email protected] and @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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14 Responses to OTC: Chiefs Make Alex Smith A $68MM Man & Their Starting QB For 4 More Years

  1. FJH says:

    How, and where, did the Chiefs improve their team since last season?

  2. Kyle R says:

    I don’t get the rush to get Smith signed either; I can’t imagine his number will be higher than $16 million per after this season. Given the crap offensive line and receivers he’s been given to work with, his stats might be so bad they could get him for even less $ after the debacle of a season that’s coming in 2014.

    When and if the Royals make the playoffs again, finally, will people’s patience with the Chiefs finally start running out? I know a lot of you guys are diehards so this doesn’t really apply, but the average Kansas Citian feels like the Chiefs are an upper-echelon franchise that’s won a ton while the Royals are terrible when, really, the Chiefs have been almost as bad as the Royals, in a league that makes the small market thing completely irrelevant through the salary cap. No playoff wins in 20+ years is pathetic, and it ain’t getting better this year. I think 6-10 is about right too Greg, and it’ll include two severe beatdowns at the hands of the Broncos, and likely the Chargers too.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      I always laugh at the local Chiefs rubes who go on and on about the Chiefs and their supposed “winning tradition”. Winning tradition? The Packers, Cowboys, Niners, & Steelers all have long standing winning traditions backed by multiple Super Bowl victories. Even johnny come lately winning franchises like the Patriots, piss all over anything the Chiefs have accomplished. The Chiefs are a joke, and I’m stunned by how much time and money are still wasted on them.

      • Kyle R says:

        Agreed. HOWEVER, I give Chiefs fans a lot of credit at the same time, for showing up and supporting this team far more than they’ve deserved to be for 43 years without a Super Bowl appearance.

  3. Gavin says:

    Greg, your thought that the Chiefs might cut Smith at the end of the year is still possible. A $30M guarantee spreads out to, what, $15M if they cut him after the season? I admit that I don’t fully know how the NFL salary cap works, so it’s likely I’m all wet on this, but if he plays this season, doesn’t the bonus get spread out over the season he played and for the season he gets cut? I admit that I don’t know. It may be that the bonus is spread out over every year of the contract even if he gets cut. But the point is, the bonus gets spread out against the cap, right? So, even if he gets cut after this season, that $30M will be prorated and that isn’t such a big hot for a QB, even if he only plays one year.

    And I think, but again don’t know, that if he got the franchise tag, he gets what, the average of the top five highest-paid QBs in the league? I have no idea what that is, but in the world of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, that number has to be enormous. The contract may not be as club friendly as was Kaepernick’s deal, but a $30M guarantee for a better than middling QB doesn’t seem that bad, especially if he manages to be better than expected. And if Murray doesn’t turn out to be any good, this deal will be even better for the club. And I think this frees them up to tag Justin Houston if they need to, doesn’t it?

    • Say What? says:

      If they cut Alex Smith after this season, they will have $40 mil in dead money which makes him impossible to cut.


      • Say What? says:

        You can spread out the signing bonus over the life of the contract but if you cut that player then whatever is left that was spread out all counts immediately for that league year.

        • MightyMo says:

          Basically means, practically, you have a 3-year QB, minimum. This was meant to be a real commitment, even if not as long as some others.

  4. Jim says:

    I got (4) home wins (Titans, Rams, Jets & Raiders) and (4) road wins (Dolphins, Bills, Raiders & Cardinals). None of those are going to be cake-walks for the Chiefs, but I do see them as winnable. Hell, who knows? Teams never look the same when the schedule comes out as they do after the bullets (and injuries) start flying. All things being equal, this looks like a typical middle of the road 7-9 or 8-8 NFL team.

    • Kyle R says:

      True. If I’m calling it right now though, I’d bet on the Dolphins, Bills and Cardinals in all those games, with the Bills being the most up in the air one.

  5. nick says:

    Smith’s performance in the playoff game last year, almost by itself, earned the contract.

    The O-line is a big wart and the WR core is a small wart, but Smith’s smarts and Reid’s creativity will hide them mostly. Special teams could be great. Front 7 is super talented.

    It’s all about the secondary. Feels like we’ll miss the playoffs because of it, but won’t surprise me at all if our defense figure out a way get the job done.

  6. b12 says:

    The Smith deal had to happen from both sides.

    To potentially lose him only two years after giving up a high round draft pick (I think it was a second), and bet on Murray…would look kind of foolish on Big Red and Dorsey’s part.

    Smith had to have seen what he was working with in the preseason and realized he might be dead by week 8, so he needed to provide for his family years down the line. Actually, he probably thought the crappy numbers brought on by the crappy line wouldn’t bring him the dollars next year. Oh, and the crappy numbers from Bowe dropping all the catchable passes.

  7. Kerouac says:

    “Smith has a contract that is much, much (did I say much?) better than the team-friendly deal that Kaepernick signed earlier this year.” ~ Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com

    – suggests the possibility 49ers management is that much better in terms negotiations than KC’s, same; not surprising really, considering SF also has the better QB, the better team and the better franchise legacy.

    • Jim says:

      A lot of factors went into those negotiations, K-Man. The fact that CK had Scott Smith of XAM Sports (yeah, who?) and Smith had Tom Condon negotiating their deals is one stark difference. At 30 years old, there is NO way Smith signs a deal like CK’s (26 years old) that renews every April and basically gives SF an “out” every year. Smith was going to get his money one way or another. It’s just the going rate for NFL QB’s. Hell of a deal for the 49er’s, but not so great for Kaepernick.

      Additionally, KC knows exactly what they have in Smith after 8 years in the NFL. My guess is that the 49er’s still aren’t 100% sold on Kaepernick after only 2 1/2. Thus, the deal they signed.


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