Alex Smith had a wildly successful first season as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. He led the team to an 11-5 record and a postseason berth after a 2-14 season in 2012. Combined with new head coach Andy Reid, Smith completely remade Kansas City’s offense into a dangerous unit. And now, the Chiefs apparently want to make sure he’s around longer.
Reports surfaced late Wednesday that suggest the Kansas City wants to lock Smith up to a long-term extension this offseason. The 29-year-old quarterback signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March of 2012. He was traded to the Chiefs in February of last year and was immediately anointed the team’s starter by Reid.
Smith rewarded Reid’s confidence in him by setting career-highs in passing yards (3,313) and passing touchdowns (23), while throwing just seven interceptions. His quarterback rating was a solid 89.1, especially when you consider that he was learning a completely new offense and working with a full roster of new teammates.
In 2013, Smith also completed 60.6 percent of his passes, and averaged 6.52 yards per attempt. Both of those numbers are average, but again he should improve with more time in the system.
The Chiefs lost a heart-breaker in the opening round of the postseason to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, falling 45-44 after holding a 28-point lead in the third quarter. But Smith couldn’t be faulted for that collapse. Against the Colts he completed 30-of-46 passes for 378 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 57 yards on right carries.
Smith will be entering the final year of his contract in 2014 and is set to make $7.5 million. He has a 30-9-1 regular season record as a starter over the past three years and is a proven leader on the field and in the locker room.
While he won’t get anything close to the ridiculous seven-year, $126 million contract ($54 million guaranteed) Jay Cutler just signed with the Bears, you should probably still expect Smith to get a substantial deal. Something in the three-to-four year range at $13 million to $15 million per season would probably be a fair contract for both sides.
After the turnaround the Chiefs had this season, you can bet they want to lock up the quarterback who helped them put the franchise back on the right path.