Alex Smith: Where do we go from here? Part 2
Conference Championships are over in the NFL. The New England Patriots will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Superbowl! The Patriots barely snuck by an up and coming Jacksonville Jaguars team. While the Philadelphia Eagles blasted the Minnesota Vikings to advance to their first Superbowl appearance since 2004. This is a rematch of the 2004 Superbowl, in which the Patriots won by a field goal. New England Patriots opened up as the favorite to win. Vegas has them winning by 5.5 points. The Eagles however are riding the underdog wave. The Eagles and their fans have embraced this role. Just like Rocky, the Eagles are going to be looking to land a knockout punch to the Patriots and win a Superbowl for the city of brotherly love. Good Luck to both teams.
In part 1 of this article/blog, I reviewed some of the good and bad aspect of Alex Smith’s situation. If you would like to read that article/blog please follow the link Alex Smith: Where do we go from here/ Part 1.
Lets take a look at Alex Smith’s Contract status. Smith has 1 more season left on his contract with the Chiefs. He will be making 20.6 million this season. In Alex Smith’s 15 years in the NFL, he has earned almost 170 million dollars.
In my estimation there are three possible scenarios that can play out in Alex Smith situation. Keep him. Trade him. Release him. Each scenario has its benefits as well as drawbacks. Lets take a look at them!
Lets examine the keep him option first. Now this may be the least popular option in the 816 area code but it make a lot of sense. Smith is owed 20.6 million for the season, it is a modest amount for a starting NFL quarterback. As stated earlier he has performed well in his time as the starting quarterback for the Chiefs. Many fans have grown wary of the style in which Smith plays. Safe and steady is his calling card. He has shown the ability to limit mistakes and to complete short passes to tight ends and running backs. The problem here is that the Chiefs drafted a young gunslinger in Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has been groomed to take over the starting quarterback job. Mahomes has shown some play-making ability, but is he is also young and raw. In his only start of the season he showed well. Mahomes made big plays as well and also made some rookie mistake. Does another year of learning the offense hurt his development? Having two starting caliber quarterbacks on a roster can be a huge advantage. Just take a look at the Playoff teams this year. Brady had Garoppolo. Wentz had Foles, Keenum is actually third string, Bradford and Bridgewater.
Trade Him. This seems to be the consensus move of Chiefs fan. In order to trade Alex Smith you have to find a team that has a need at QB, can afford to take on his salary, and have pieces to trade. In my research there are only a hand full of teams that can check each of those boxes. Cleveland, NY Giants, Denver, Arizona, Buffalo, and Jacksonville. The problem here is that there are several other quarterback options available. Either through free agency, trades or potential release candidates. Guys like Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Jimmy Garoppolo, Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, and Jay Cutler are all scheduled to be free Agents at end of season. Potential release candidates include: Blake Bortles, Ryan Tannehill, Mike Glennon, Josh McCown. and Blaine Gabbert. There is also another group of signal callers that have been made available in trade talks. This group includes Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor, Eli Manning, and AJ McCarron. Obviously some will resign with their team while others will move on. We also have the NFL Draft coming up. This draft has the potential to have 4 or 5 quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round. At most there could be 21 quarterbacks available for teams to choose from. That will drive down the trade price of Alex Smith. With all of these options available for teams to choose from I believe Alex Smith’s value is a 3rd round pick. If the offer is a 3rd round pick, I think the Chiefs would be wise to hold Alex Smith.
Release Him. Do we really need to discuss this. NFL teams only release players that have zero to no value. Alex Smith is a very valuable asset in the NFL. He is a veteran quarterback that knows how to run an offense. If the Chiefs do decide to release Alex Smith they will save 17 million dollars. They will also pay him 3.6 million dollars to play on another team. That is called dead money. Now if they do release Smith, that leaves Patrick Mahomes as the only quarterback on the roster. The Chiefs would have to bring in another quality backup. I see this as a disaster situation for the Chiefs front office. Still have to pay Alex Smith, zero compensation for releasing him, and have to pay another quarterback to backup Mahomes.
In summary, I believe releasing Alex Smith is not an option. I see trading him as viable option as long as compensation is more than a 3rd round pick. I am not sure there is enough to warrant a better offer in this market. Keeping Alex Smith on the team is most likely the best scenario for everyone. Mahomes can start the season, if he struggles or gets injured Alex Smith can step right in provide veteran leadership. If I had a vote on this situation, I would want to keep Alex Smith as a mentor and an extremely capable backup.
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Written By: Tom K.