On Wednesday, Alex Smith, was asked again by the local media about his contract status with the Chiefs. The question brought some grit in his voice and he made his stance pretty clear on the dicey topic. Not that it’s completely definitive but he doesn’t want the media to keep asking him the same question over and over again.
“I think you get to the point where, either way, you want it to stop being a distraction,” Smith told reports.
”You guys know how I feel about this and it’s the truth. You’re going to get to a point where – and I’m there – you’re going to cross the line where it’s just football from here on out. I’m done not only talking about it with you guys, but even behind the scenes as well. We talk about eliminating distractions and that’s a part of it, the focus needs to be on ball.”
He’s correct the focus needs to be on getting him situated with a new contract entering the 2014 season. Smith won’t say it, and he shouldn’t have to at this point in the talks, but he wants it cleared up as much as anyone.
The Chiefs brass, led by General Manager John Dorsey, has been in close contact with Smith’s agent, Tom Condon. At one point in May, Warpaint Illustrated learned the two sides had bridged a significant gap. So much so, we thought a deal was imminent.
Then the San Francisco 49ers got stupid and forked over a $126 million contract with $61 million in guarnatees to third-year quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. However once the details of the deal actually outlined he’d receive just $12.4 million in guaranteed dollars, that deal still put a wrench into the Chiefs contract talks with Smith.
After the dust, Kaepernick received a nice signing bonus and if he stays healthy, he could earn a lot more in base pay for the life of the contract. But that’s a big if and it’s unlikely he’ll see all that coin.
Still it sadly derailed the talks between Smith and Condon. However, over the last week, the two sides have begun to engage in more serious banter. That’s a good sign because Smith deserves to get paid by the Chiefs.
I’m not going to argue his rank as one of the elite members of the quarterback fraternity but he’s certainly in the top five or six. And when you consider how many bad quarterbacks are getting paid big bucks in the NFL today, the Chiefs should feel fortunate they have one of the best in the game still on their roster.
Let’s face it Smith is a winner. He’s class off the field and competitive on the field. All he does is win football games at the NFL level. When he came to the Chiefs a year ago his career took on a new direction. Now that Kansas City has him under center they should reward the man who guided this franchise a year ago to an astonishing 11-5 mark.
Had he won that playoff game against the Colts in January, and he certainly did his part to win it offensively, there would be no debate about getting him locked down long term. In fact, I argue the outrage in getting him signed would be on par with the demands of the Chiefs Nation for the organization to get Linebacker, Justin Houston, signed long term as well.
I realize getting Houston under contract is paramount to this franchise. In fact, it’s probably a bigger priority for the Chiefs than Smith. However, Dorsey can’t let this drag into the season opener. Smith has made it clear if things aren’t progressing, as he’d like to see talks go in the near future, he’ll tell Condon to bag negotiations until the off-season.
Once that occurs his price will either go up or down based on his 2014 performance. If he has another All-Pro season, the Chiefs will likely place the franchise tag on Smith securing him for the 2015 campaign.
Either way those are not good scenarios for the Chiefs and it’s best to take care of the business at hand while both sides are amenable to getting it done before talks fade into the abyss.
Photos: John Rieger USA Today Sports
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