Alex Smith knows his time is running out as the leader of the Kansas City Chiefs offense.
After the Chiefs traded up (utilizing some serious draft capital to do it) for Patrick Mahomes II in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the writing is clearly on the wall.
Smith, speaking with the Kansas City media Wednesday for the first time about the move, illustrated he sees the truth better than anyone.
“I think [the Chiefs are] committed to me [only] through this year,” Smith said, per Adam Teicher of ESPN. “That’s just the nature of it. If you don’t go out there and perform, I mean, coach [Andy] Reid and [quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy] are very honest. You’ve got to go out there and do your deal. We all have to.
“Whether or not we drafted Patrick, it doesn’t change that, right? If you’re not good enough and didn’t get it done, you’re not going to be around long. That’s just our culture. I know it. That’s the nature of the position.”
Smith is one of the NFL’s really good guys. He’s already reached out to Mahomes, and he’s going to help him out in the same way he helped Colin Kaepernick before the young gunslinger pushed him out of San Francisco a few years back.
He knows the Chiefs had to eventually draft his replacement.
“I’m in a different place than the last time I kind of dealt with something like this, [but] I get it, right? If any of us were the GM, this in my opinion might be the most important position in all of sports. You’d be crazy not to be stockpiling talent.”
Mahomes has the raw tools to become a dangerous weapon for Andy Reid and the Chiefs. However, despite what Smith said about being Kansas City’s guy for just one more year, it really wouldn’t be surprising if Mahomes needed two years or more to develop into an NFL franchise passer.
With that in mind, it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens in 2018. Smith’s current deal doesn’t run out until after the 2018 season. But the Chiefs have a potential out after the 2017 campaign in which they’d have just $3.6 million in dead cap if they let him go.