From the FanPosts -Joel
A lot of people have reported that the Chiefs are working on an extension for Alex Smith. I thought Smith was great at the end of last season, and I am confident in his ability moving into this year, but the overall risks of an extension outweigh the rewards for me at this point.
Extension. How much?
I do not know what his agent would ask for in a contract extension at this point, but I would think that a starting point would be somewhere in the Tony Romo / Matthew Stafford / Jay Cutler arena of $17-18 million a year. His current cap hit for this year is $7.5 million, which is a huge discount from the level of play he will give the Chiefs, so we can count that a plus for this season.
The Chiefs have a revamped offensive line, so an injury is always a possibility, and Smith has only played in an average of nine games a season for his career. Some of those games have been due to being benched, but he has had his share of injuries, too.
We are all planning on Smith improving next year from his respectable 2013 numbers, but if Dwayne Bowe continues to decline, there will not be much extra help for him to open up the offense. I hate to sound pessimistic, but I can remember having very high hopes for the Chiefs going into the 2012 season before the wheels completely fell off. I do not see it happening, but what if we are looking at another top 5 pick and are stuck with an average quarterback for too much money, which prevents us from moving on to another option (Matt Cassel ring a bell?).
Don’t forget the franchise tag
If he plays to a level that he commands more than we feel comfortable giving him after this season, then give him the tag for $17-18 million a year and see what happens. The Chiefs can start the planning process for the next quarterback (maybe Tyler Bray turns into something or the Chiefs draft an heir apparent). Alex Smith will be good, kind of like Trent Green, but he will not be a Peyton Manning / Tom Brady type player that you cannot move on from.
Joe Flacco anyone? (Hoping to have to make this decision)
What if he goes all Flacco on us, and leads the Chiefs to a Super Bowl and they have to give him a contract that is worth more than his level of play deserves? Ask Baltimore fans how they are feeling about that Super Bowl victory. I have to say that I would take five years of an above average quarterback that is overpaid and hurts the cap in order to bring home the Lombardi Trophy in 2014!
Let me know if you can think of some benefits that would outweigh the potential negatives, but I can't see it right now.