Chiefs agree to deal QB Smith to Redskins
Hours after quarterback Alex Smith said he hoped to remain in Kansas City, the Chiefs reached an agreement to trade him to the Washington Redskins, multiple media outlets reported on Tuesday night.
Smith, 33, spent the past five seasons with the Chiefs. His deal to Washington can't be completed until the new National Football League business year begins on March 14, and there was no immediate word on Kansas City's return in the trade.
The Kansas City Star reported that the trade of Smith, who has a US$20.6-million salary-cap figure for 2018, to the Redskins would save the Chiefs US$17 million.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, Smith agreed to a four-year extension with Washington that runs through the end of the 2021 season. Smith had one year remaining on a four-year, US$68-million extension he signed in September 2014. The extension reportedly will pay him an average of US$23.5 million per year, including US$71 million in guaranteed money.
The deal would allow the Chiefs to install 2017 first-round pick Patrick Mahomes as the starting quarterback.
Kansas City traded two first-round picks and a third-rounder to move up 17 spots and grab Mahomes 10th overall in April. The 22-year-old threw for 284 yards and an interception in his lone rookie start, a Week 17 game against the Denver Broncos that was irrelevant to the Chiefs' playoff seeding.
The deal likely signals the end of quarterback Kirk Cousins' time in Washington. The Redskins used the franchise tag on Cousins each of the past two offseasons and could have done so again, although it would come at a hefty price tag of US$34 million this time around. He said on Tuesday "there's no need to change the script" in how he approached the situation this offseason.
The Redskins limped to a 7-9 finish in 2017 amid a rash of injuries. They made the playoffs at 9-7 in 2015 and missed out at 8-7-1 in 2016.
The Chiefs won the AFC West this season at 10-6 but lost 21-22 to the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the playoffs.
Speaking on Tuesday on "The Dan Patrick Show", Smith said when asked where he would play in 2018 if it were up to him: "I love where I'm at. I feel like we underachieved. I feel like we, offensively last year, did some awesome things.
"But who knows? I've been playing long enough. I've been through this before, the trade deal, so I'm not naive to it. This is a crazy business and a lot of crazy stuff can happen, so we'll see."
Smith just finished his best season in the NFL, posting career marks in touchdown passes (26), yards per attempt (8.0), interception percentage (1.0) and passer rating (104.7), with the latter two figures leading the league.
Smith also led the league in passer rating (104.1) in 2012, when he started nine games for the San Francisco 49ers before sustaining a concussion and watching Colin Kaepernick seize the starting job and take the team to Super Bowl XLVII. The 49ers traded Smith to the Chiefs for two first-round picks the following offseason.
"I wish I knew," Smith said when asked where he'll be playing in 2018. "I wish I was in control of this thing. I wish I was the one that got to be able to do this, but that's just not the reality."