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What does Jeremy Maclin’s release mean for Alex Smith in 2018 and beyond?

To repeat what Big Red would say right here: Alex Smith is our starting quarterback. In 2017. The Chiefs aren’t committed to him beyond this year so one of the story lines all season will be how well Alex plays and how that affects the Chiefs decision in 2018 between him and Patrick Mahomes.

Knowing Alex has to play well this year, it’s awfully difficult to see Jeremy Maclin, your No. 1 receiver, cut in the first week of June. Cap and contract expert Joel Corry was on 810 with Soren Petro earlier today and an obvious point but still a good one: Losing Maclin is not good for Alex Smith.

“The biggest loser in all of this is Alex Smith ... it doesn’t bode well for him sticking around in 2018,” Corry said on 810.

I certainly don’t think the Chiefs thought, “Let’s try to screw Alex over this offseason.” No chance. But their actions - giving up a first round pick for Mahomes and then cutting Maclin - sure seems to make things more difficult on Alex this year.

Do we agree they would’ve been a better team in 2017 if they had used that first rounder on someone who could help them this year and renegotiated rather than cutting Maclin? Probably. As fans know, Chiefs GM John Dorsey is looking beyond 2017 so there are some tough choices that are made in the short term, Maclin being one of them.

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