The Alex Smith era is here. Or it will be soon. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a trade -- reportedly for a second round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and a conditional mid-round pick in 2014 -- and we've already started running down what this means for the Chiefs.
Here's a big one: the Alex Smith trade likely signals the end of the Matt Cassel era with the Chiefs. Not that it needed to be said, but...
Goes without saying but Chiefs now expected to release QB Matt Cassel, who will have a market for his services.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 27, 2013
Pre-Alex Smith trade, I was one of the few folks in town who could see a scenario where Cassel stayed with the Chiefs. But not anymore. Not after this trade. Not after what they'll be paying Alex Smith ($8.5 million in 2013). And not with the price they paid to acquire him. Cassel was due over $7 million in 2013. Smith comes in with a similar contract but a hefty price tag in the form of draft picks.
The Chiefs 2013 quarterback structure is becoming clearer. Smith is in, Cassel is out. A draft pick might be in as well.
The only question is when the Chiefs will release Cassel. My guess would be sometime before March 12, the start of free agency.