Chiefs reach agreement to trade Alex Smith to Washington

ansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) runs with the ball against the Oakland Raiders in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium.The NFL offseason doesn't officially begin until after the Super Bowl, but the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins just couldn’t wait this year. Kansas City reportedly has an agreement in place to trade veteran quarterback Alex Smith to Washington once teams are able to deal again in March. While the return from the deal is not yet known, it could cause a chain reaction on quarterback jobs throughout the league once it is completed.

Smith enjoyed five successful seasons with the Chiefs after falling out of favour with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him first overall in 2005. But Smith and Kansas City never found a way to carry that success into the playoffs, and he leaves the franchise with a disappointing 1-4 postseason record. At 34 years old, Smith won’t have many more opportunities to make a Super Bowl run, but Washington will be counting on him for the foreseeable future after agreeing to a four-year extension that would theoretically keep Smith employed until he’s 39.

But no amount Washington is paying Smith would compare to what Kirk Cousins would be owed if the franchise tag was applied to him again. Cousins has wanted out of Washington for a while, and two straight seasons with the franchise tag ballooned his salary to $23.9 million. A third tagged season would have cost Washington up to $34.5 million, but the arrival of Smith means Cousins will finally be granted the free agency he has desired - an intriguing development for the many teams sure to be looking for a quarterback once the offseason is officially underway.

The Chiefs already drafted Smith’s replacement last year when they traded up to select Patrick Mahomes, and with Smith off to Washington, Mahomes will be Kansas City’s starter going forward. Mahomes won his one start as a rookie, completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 284 yards but also throwing one interception against the defense of the rival Denver Broncos, which Mahomes will see plenty of as long as he’s on the Chiefs. Kansas City’s offense could change significantly around Mahomes, who is more mobile and possesses a stronger arm than Smith. Whether Mahomes is part of the key to changing the Chiefs’ playoff fortunes remains to be seen.