This past Tuesday night, former Chiefs QB Alex Smith was traded to the Redskins. This is not a surprise whatsoever, considering Smith and Kirk Cousins were really the only two viable franchise quarterbacks involved in the 2018 offseason market.
With the new deal for $94 million over 4 years, Smith is now the fourth highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, earning $23.5 million a year. $71 million of that is guaranteed, but a lot of people aren’t picking up on the fact that it is an injury-only guarantee. The biggest amount of guaranteed money that Smith will likely see is around $40 million, around the same as Derek Carr.
There’s no doubt that Smith will see a lot of money within the next four years, but you can expect Cousins to get a lot more. Keep in mind, there are a lot of teams who need a quarterback, and a lot of those teams are willing to pay tons of money. When veteran quarterbacks eventually hit the market like we’re seeing Smith and Cousins do now, you best bet that a lot of them will be getting paid more than Smith is now. That’s not to take away from Smith, but for everyone who’s eyes jumped at the contract, it is not as big of a deal as it seems.
Anyways, if we’re thinking about this in terms of winners and losers, you can’t call the Chiefs the losers of this trade. The Chiefs cleared about $17 million in cap space, and they needed to clear $9 million to get under the cap. At the same time, Kendall Fuller has shown a lot of promise, and the Chiefs are no strangers to having a fantastic secondary. Fuller will only help the Chiefs reinforce that they’re secondary is still elite. Another thing that helps make sense of the trade is that Alex Smith is 33. A contract extension for Smith was not something the Chiefs were interested in because of age, but why would they be? Smith has not brought this team to one super bowl, and has done pretty poor in the postseason with a 2-5 record. If anything, this trade made the most sense for the Chiefs, and they’re the real winners in this trade.