ESPN did a piece on future power rankings where they ranked how teams are set up in a few categories over the next three years. The Kansas City Chiefs came in 11th. Fair enough.
ESPN’s Louis Riddick, who has ties to Andy Reid during his time with the Eagles, was involved with the piece so my eyebrows were raised when he said a couple of interesting things about Alex Smith and his future with the Chiefs.
First, do the Chiefs have a QB on the roster who could eventually end up being BETTER than Alex?
I find the Chiefs' QB situation to be one of the more interesting going forward. I believe there are QBs on the roster (Aaron Murray, Tyler Bray) who could take the passing game to a higher level than Alex Smith has in his three seasons as a starter. No, Smith did not have a legit vertical threat during his first two years in K.C., but his style of play is conservative by nature and he plays in an offensive system that has a very diverse deep passing game.
Man, I am just not convinced at all that Murray, Bray or even Kevin Hogan will end up being a better starter than Alex. How could you be? We don’t know anything about those backups. Alex has missed just a couple of games in Kansas City and it was Chase Daniel - now in Philly - who stepped in for him during that time. So I just have no clue about these other quarterbacks. I do tend to trust Andy Reid, who knows more about those quarterbacks than anyone, when it comes to making a decision about the future.
Second, did we realize the Chiefs could reasonably cut Alex next year (talking from a financial standpoint)?
The Chiefs know they need to be more explosive on offense to really contend in the AFC, and with a contract that would allow management to move on from Smith (with other salary-cap adjustments needed) after the 2016 season, this figures to be a make-or-break year for Smith in Kansas City.
According to Over The Cap, if the Chiefs cut Alex after this season, they would be on the hook for $3.6 million in dead money and have a cap savings of over $13 million. So, yeah, they could reasonably cut him next year when it comes to the finances.
If Alex is hurt this season and we see any meaningful play from another quarterback, then this question becomes more interesting. For now, though, there’s no way I’m getting rid of Alex after this season. As Terrell Owens might weep and say about Tony Romo, that’s my quarterback.