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Alex Smith: ‘Without a doubt’ 2017 could be last season in K.C.


Alex Smith knows his time in Kansas City is coming to an end sooner than later.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith understands the decision by the Kansas City Chiefs to select Patrick Mahomes II in the 2017 NFL Draft could very well expedite the end of his tenure with the team, possibly as soon as after this season.

The Chiefs gave up a lot to acquire Mahomes, trading away their first-round pick, third-round pick, a next year’s first-round pick to the Buffalo Bills to move up to No. 10 to land the quarterback out of Texas Tech. The 33-year-old veteran appears to recognize the Chiefs didn’t sacrifice so much draft capital to see Mahomes ride the bench for more than one season at the most.

“Yeah, you know, for sure it absolutely does, without a doubt,” a pragmatic Smith said this week during an interview on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” as transcribed by NESN. “And I only say that because, that was exactly my mindset when I got traded here was no different. Like this could be my only year here right?

“… I mean, I don’t care who you are. I mean that’s the thing, right? You cease to be this developmental project — a rookie guy that’s on a rookie contract that maybe has years to grow. You’re a veteran. You’re expected to perform and play at a certain level. And if you don’t, the team isn’t going to just keep going (on same path). They’re gonna try and find somebody else that can. And so, no different this year than every year. That’s just been the way it is. I don’t think that’s a bad thing either.”

Smith has been with the Chiefs since 2013 after being traded by the San Francisco 49ers. He has led the Chiefs to the postseason in three of his four seasons in K.C. But the Chiefs’ future at quarterback arrived with Mahomes, and Smith could be headed elsewhere next season.

It’s clear Smith won’t go down without a fight, however, as evidenced by his standout performance in last week’s 42-27 thrashing of the New England Patriots, where the veteran went 28-of-35 for 368 yards and four touchdowns and a stellar 148.6 quarterback rating.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:

32 SLIDES
Ranking the NFL backup quarterbacks for the 2017 season


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title: ’31. Cooper Rush, Cowboys’,
description: ‘

An undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan, Rush surprisingly won the backup job ahead of Kellen Moore. He was very efficient during the preseason, but there was a reason Rush went undrafted.

Tim Heitman / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’30. Drew Stanton, Cardinals’,
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Battling Blaine Gabbert for the No. 2 job in the preseason, Stanton has only shown that the Cardinals are in trouble if Carson Palmer gets injured. He’s completed just 53 percent of his passes for his career with 14/19 TD/INT.

Joe Camporeale / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’29. Scott Tolzien, Colts’,
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Andrew Luck is unlikely to be ready in Week 1, and the Colts are in big trouble. Tolzien has started three games during his NFL career and has a horrendous 66.4 passer rating for his career. That explains why the Colts traded wide receiver Phillip Dorsett to the Patriots in exchange for quarterback Jacoby Brissett right before the start of the regular season.

Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’28. Austin Davis, Seahawks’,
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The Seahawks cut Trevone Boykin in favor of Davis, who has more NFL experience. He made 10 starts between the Rams and Browns in 2014-15 but has significant problems with picks. Seattle would be in trouble if something happened to Russell Wilson.

Joe Nicholson / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’27. Nathan Peterman, Bills’,
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Considered a sleeper as a fifth-round pick this year, Peterman could get some starts this season if the Bills fall out of contention. In fact, he may get the start Week 1 with Tyrod Taylor in the NFL’s concussion protocol heading into the opener. He completed only 54 percent of his passes during the preseason but didn’t throw any picks.

Mark Konezny / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’26. Jake Rudock, Lions’,
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Rudock got one year in the Jim Harbaugh offense at Michigan before going in the sixth round of last year’s draft. He’s coming off a very nice preseason, completing 66 percent of his passes with 3/1 TD/INT. While Rudock lacks a big arm, it looks like he might carve out a nice career as a backup.

Timothy T. Ludwig / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’25. Landry Jones, Steelers’,
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Jones is Ben Roethlisberger’s primary backup for now, but it probably won’t be long before rookie Joshua Dobbs jumps over him on the depth chart. Jones is .500 in four career starts, but the Pittsburgh offense has needed to adjust for him.

Phillip G. Pavely / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’24. Sean Mannion, Rams’,
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The Rams have too much invested in 2016 first overall draft choice Jared Goff to give Mannion an opportunity, but he has flashed ability during the preseason. The 2015 third-round pick completed more than 64 percent of his passes with two touchdowns this preseason.

Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’23. C.J. Beathard, 49ers’,
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A third-round pick out of Iowa, Beathard was able to beat out the experienced Matt Barkley for the No. 2 job. He could be the team’s quarterback of the future and looked good in the preseason with 4/1 TD/INT.

Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’22. Cardale Jones, Chargers’,
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Jones made a name for himself at Ohio State and was acquired before the season from Buffalo. The fourth-round pick in 2016 has a huge arm, but his accuracy has always been lacking. Given Philip Rivers’s durability, the Chargers probably aren’t concerned.

Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’21. E.J. Manuel, Raiders’,
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Manuel was an optimistic 16th overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Bills, but it didn’t take the organization long to conclude he wasn’t starter material. He has only 6.4 yards per attempt for his career and is 6-11 as a starter. If nothing else, Manuel does have wheels.

Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’20. Paxton Lynch, Broncos’,
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It’s much too soon to call the 26th overall pick in the 2016 draft a bust, but the early returns for Denver haven’t been good. Lynch struggled in his rookie season and looked overmatched during the preseason this year before getting injured. He could miss significant time, necessitating the Broncos to sign Brock Osweiler.

Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’19. Ryan Mallett, Ravens’,
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The strong-armed Mallett was infamously cut from the Texans in 2015 despite beginning the year as the starter. His leadership has often been questioned, and he’s also extremely inaccurate, completing only 55 percent of his passes for his career.

Chuck Cook / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’18. Cody Kessler, Browns’,
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A third-round pick by Cleveland last year, Kessler is the equivalent of a finesse pitcher. He went 0-8 as a starter as a rookie, albeit on a horrendous roster. Kessler did complete more than 65 percent of his passes, but he also threw only six touchdowns and didn’t even figure into the starting conversation during training camp this year.

Scott Galvin / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’17. Brett Hundley, Packers’,
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Stuck behind Aaron Rodgers, Hundley has thrown 10 regular-season passes over his first two seasons. He performed during the preseason this year, completing 63 percent of his passes with 3/1 TD/INT.

Jeff Hanisch / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’16. Geno Smith, Giants’,
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A draft bust after going 39th overall in the 2013 draft, Smith infamously lost the quarterback battle for the Jets in 2015 when he he broke his jaw in a locker room fight. Completing less than 58 percent of his passes in four years, Smith now backs up Eli Manning with the Giants.

Brad Penner / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’15. Chad Henne, Jaguars’,
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The fact Henne couldn’t beat out the struggling Blake Bortles despite getting the opportunity says a lot. A former starter in Miami and Jacksonville, Henne is 18-35 over his NFL career, completing less than 60 percent of his passes.

Reinhold Matay / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’14. Matt Cassel, Titans’,
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Cassel went 10-5 as the replacement for an injured Tom Brady back in 2008 with New England and became a starter under Todd Haley with the Chiefs, going 10-5 two years later. Since then he’s been quite inconsistent, struggling with significant work in Dallas in 2015. Now 35, it’s debatable if Cassel is even a reliable backup, though he has experienced and has won in the past.

Dennis Schneidler / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’13. Matt Schaub, Falcons’,
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Still the best quarterback in Texans history, Schaub made two Pro Bowls during his tenure but was benched in 2013. He’s seen only two starts since then but continued to struggle with interceptions when he did play. There are still few backups with his résumé, but Schaub is well past his prime at 36.

Matt J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’12. Case Keenum, Vikings’,
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The starter in L.A. at the beginning of last season, Keenum failed to move a bland offense but did go 4-5 as a starter. However, he’s completed only 58 percent of his passes for his career and struggled with his accuracy in the pocket.

Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’11. Deshaun Watson, Texans’,
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Clemson’s hero should emerge as Houston’s starter sooner than later. He was taken 12th overall to finally fix the organization’s years of quarterback issues, but he struggled during the preseason, completing only 51.8 percent of his passes with one pick and no touchdowns. Still, he can make plays and create offense with his feet.

Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ’10. Derek Anderson, Panthers’,
description: ‘

The last quarterback to lead Cleveland to a winning record over a season, Anderson has settled in nicely as Cam Newton’s backup. He started two games last season, losing both, but completed more than 66 percent of his passes for the third straight year. Anderson’s biggest weakness is his decision making, with as many touchdowns as interceptions for his career.

Reinhold Matay / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘9. Colt McCoy, Redskins’,
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A starter early in his career with Cleveland, McCoy has made a nice living recently as a backup. McCoy doesn’t have great arm strength but can execute short throws. He completed more than 71 percent of his passes in his last year of extended playing time with Washington in 2014.

Brad Mills / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘8. Nick Foles, Eagles’,
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It’s easy to forget that Foles was a Pro Bowler in the Chip Kelly offense in 2013, going 8-2 s a starter with 27/2 TD/INT for the year. He soon fell out of favor in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City. Foles’s experience still makes him valuable behind Carson Wentz.

Bill Streicher / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
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title: ‘7. Chase Daniel, Saints’,
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Daniel is on his third team in three years, but it’s not for lack of ability. The Mizzou alumnus doesn’t have much of an arm, but he’s shown accuracy and scrambling ability when he’s found the field during his career, completing more than 65 percent of his passes.

Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
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title: ‘6. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buccaneers’,
description: ‘

Fitzpatrick had a huge season with the Jets in 2015, but his regression last season made the team look smart for not signing him long-term. The fact is that Fitzpatrick has turned over the ball far too often in his career with 133 picks in 3,876 career attempts. He’s also just 46-69-1 as a starter for his career, though the experience and smarts he has are invaluable as a backup.

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
{
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title: ‘5. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears’,
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Bears fans weren’t crazy about the Trubisky pick when he was selected second overall, but now they’re calling for him to be the starter ahead of Mike Glennon after a great preseason. Trubisky was 36-of-53 for 364 yards and three scores. It’s only a matter of time before he’s starting ahead of Glennon.

Mike Dinovo / USA Today Sports Images


}
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title: ‘4. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs’,
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The 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Texas Tech, Mahomes showed his raw talent and absolutely lit up defenses during the preseason. He finished 34-of-54 for 390 yards and 4/0 TD/INT with some highlight-reel throws. Of course, Mahomes also got away with some risky throws, which is why scouts said he needed a year on the bench. He’s in the right situation under the tutelage of Andy Reid and could emerge as a star next season.

Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports Images


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,
{
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title: ‘3. Matt Moore, Dolphins’,
description: ‘

Moore performed well in Ryan Tannehill’s stead late last season, though it wasn’t enough to prevent the Dolphins from signing Jay Cutler when Tannehill went down again during training camp. For his career, Moore is a very respectable 15-13 as a starter with more than 6,000 yards passing. He’s the type of passer a team can trust as the No. 2.

Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘2. A.J. McCarron, Bengals’,
description: ‘

Cincinnati discovered that McCarron could play late in 2015 when Andy Dalton got injured. He made three regular-season starts and threw for 854 yards and 6/2 TD/INT over seven total games. He also would have led the team to a playoff victory if not for some boneheaded defensive fouls by the Bengals.

Brad Mills / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘1. Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots’,
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A former second-round pick, Garoppolo played well in two starts for the Patriots last season when Tom Brady was suspended. For the season, he was for 43-of-63 for 502 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. He’s completed an impressive 67 percent of his passes for his career and is the heir apparent to Brady.

Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports Images


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Ranking the NFL backup quarterbacks for the 2017 season

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