The first QB domino of the offseason is set to fall, as the Chiefs intend to trade veteran Alex Smith to Washington, according to the Kansas City Star's Terez Paylor.
ESPN's Field Yates reports the Chiefs will receive a third-round pick and nickel CB Kendall Fuller in the deal. Upon joining Washington, Smith will receive a four-year extension containing $71 million guaranteed and an average of $23.5 million annually in new paper. Smith was set to earn $17 million in the final year of his deal with the Chiefs.
Smith, 33, is coming off a career year in which he threw 26 touchdowns to five interceptions while leading Kansas City to its second consecutive AFC West title. A deal sending him to Washington, which can't be consummated until the new league year begins March 14, would mean Kirk Cousins is officially on the way out.
Cousins, if he wasn't already, would instantly become the belle of the free-agent QB ball. He turns 30 this summer and has posted three consecutive 4,000-plus yard passing seasons, albeit with a slightly declining passer rating each year.
But that production positions Cousins, a very good quarterback but maybe not a great one, to become the highest paid player in NFL history, a commitment Washington clearly wasn't ready to make after paying Cousins north of $40 million for two non-playoff seasons under the franchise tag.
So which clubs are willing to pay Cousins? Denver, Cleveland and the New York Jets have to be considered near the top of the list.
With Mahomes set to inherit a two-time reigning division champ, albeit one coming off back-to-back playoff disappointments, can the Chiefs transition seamlessly while maintaining control of the West?
And what about the oft overlooked and underappreciated Smith, who seems to get traded every time he enjoys a career breakthrough, and a Washington club that, like the Chiefs, have enjoyed some success but struggled to get over the hump?