According to the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Chiefs have reached an agreement to trade longtime starting quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, freeing the Chiefs from a $17 million cap hit.
NFL trades can’t become official until March 14, and the Star report doesn’t say anything about what the Chiefs will get in return (Ian Rapoport says it involves “picks and a player”). But if this deal goes through, it likely has major effects for two other quarterbacks besides Smith. First, Patrick Mahomes, who started and won one game as a rookie, will become the Chiefs’ new number-one QB. Additionally, Smith appears to be Washington’s replacement for Kirk Cousins, who’s made no secret of his desire to test free agency after getting franchise tagged in back-to-back years.
Smith has started 76 games for the Chiefs since he arrived in Kansas City in 2013. After getting labeled a bust in San Francisco and later losing his job to Colin Kaepernick on a Super-Bowl-bound Niners team, the former first-overall pick reinvigorated his career with his second franchise. However, his 1-4 playoff record with the Chiefs, and his lackluster performance this season after a 5-0 start, made the calls for Mahomes seem more and more logical. With Washington, Smith can still be a clear-cut starter as he continues to try and find postseason success. He’ll be 34 when the season starts again in the fall.
Update (10:00 p.m. ET): There’s this note on Smith’s new Washington deal, too, though it’s unclear how many years are guaranteed: