The 2017 Season Could Be Alex Smith’s Last

The Kansas City Chiefs management staff and quarterback Alex Smith are far from reaching an agreement on a contract extension that will keep on the roster past 2018. The fact that the Chiefs selected Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the No. 10 overall pick doesn’t help Smith’s case. Usually, when teams trade up in the first round, it is for a very good reason. The Chiefs had to give up their 2018 first-round pick and their 2017 third-round pick to the Bills.

Who is Patrick Mahomes?

You may be wondering, who is Patrick Mahomes? He is a 21-year-old 6’3” American quarterback. Mahomes is the son of a major league pitcher. That must be where he got his strong arm from.

Mahomes became a starter the last four games of his freshman year. The last four games of his first year in college he recorded 1,547 yards, 16 TDs, four INTs, and a 56.8 completion percentage. One of those games he threw for 568 yards and six touchdowns. That game was against Baylor.

Mahomes ended his college career with 50 touchdowns and 4,619 yards. With his tall frame, strong legs, and throwing power, he has the tools to succeed. The question is, will he understand how to use them?

What does this mean for Smith?

Alex Smith is aware that the 2017 season could be the last time he wears a Chiefs jersey.

“I think [the Chiefs are] committed to me [only] through this year,” Smith said, per’s Adam Teicher. “That’s just the nature of it. If you don’t go out there and perform, I mean, coach [Andy] Reid and [quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy] are very honest. You’ve got to go out there and do your deal. We all have to.”

Regardless of whether or not Patrick Mahomes performs well his rookie year in the NFL, Smith would still have to play his absolute best to stay on the roster. If he can not improve his game, the Chiefs will have no choice but to move on.

“Whether or not we drafted Patrick, it doesn’t change that, right? If you’re not good enough and didn’t get it done, you’re not going to be around long. That’s just our culture. I know it. That’s the nature of the position.”

Smith is set to be under contract through 2018, but if the Chiefs are pleased with Mahome’s performance or not satisfied with Smith’s performance next season, they can part ways with Smith for a reduced price.

If Smith is cut before June 1st, 2018, the Chiefs would save $17 million and only pay $3.6 million of dead cap.

“I’ve been through it,” Smith said. “I’m in a different place than the last time I kind of dealt with something like this, [but] I get it, right? If any of us were the GM, this in my opinion might be the most important position in all of sports. You’d be crazy not to be stockpiling talent.

It is important to note that the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff have come to a consensus that Mohomes will not be ready to start day one and may not start at all his first season. Smith will have plenty of opportunities to prove why he should stay with the Chiefs.