When Justin Houston was a threat to miss training camp (he's not anymore, reportedly), I thought that it made more sense for the Chiefs to do a deal with Houston before Alex Smith. I am changing my mind based on several factors (thanks to commenters and CBS Sports Joel Corry for pointing it out ... also, I will probably change my mind again). I think Smith is the one who gets a contract first.
1. The Chiefs have repeatedly and publicly talked about their desire to do a deal with Smith. They've hardly said anything about Houston's contract.
2. Houston needs to be in camp by a certain date to accrue another year in free agency. That means he's likely to show up for camp, which would mean there's less pressure on the Chiefs to do a deal right now. I suppose the same could be applied to Smith, who is also showing up to camp.
3. Smith has a $7.5 million cap number in 2014. Houston has a $1.6 million cap number. Therefore, it's easier to give Smith a new deal. Houston's cap number would rise more dramatically with a pay raise and the Chiefs have just under $10 million in cap space.
Based on that, it makes sense to me that the Chiefs would be looking to extend Smith before Houston.
I don't have a problem with the Chiefs extending Smith -- depending on the money. One of the reasons Smith was an attractive player to trade for is because he had a team-friendly contract. If / when Smith gets his new deal, I hope the Chiefs are given credit in the negotiations for Smith's (relatively) low 2014 cap number.