Alex Smith and the Chiefs have both expressed optimism about reaching a long-term contract agreement before the 2014 season gets underway, but the quarterback indicated today there will come a time when a resolution must be reached one way or the other, so that it’s not a distraction during the season (link via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star).
“You’re finally gonna cross a line where it’s like, it’s just football from here on out and I’m done not only talking about it with you guys, but even behind the scenes as well,” Smith said. “We talk about eliminating distractions and that’s a part of it. The focus needs to be on ball.”
Smith didn’t give an indication of when this deadline would arrive, but it’s probably safe to assume that he doesn’t want talks dragging past opening day, which would give the two sides a few more weeks to work something out. Here’s more from across the AFC:
- After reports surfaced suggesting Josh Gordon‘s reps would argue that his failed drug test was a result of second-hand smoke, the NFL has countered by pointing out that the agreement in place between the league and NFLPA dictates that players are responsible for what is in their bodies. ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon has the details.
- Meanwhile, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that Gordon’s potential suspension will be an all-or-nothing scenario, since the appeal hearing officer can’t arbitrarily land on a penalty between zero games and a full season. A compromise could still be negotiated, but once the process reaches the point where the hearing officer makes a decision, that ruling will stick.
- The owners of nearby franchises weighed in on the Raiders‘ possible interest in San Antonio, with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones not making much of the story (link via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram), while Texans owner Bob McNair suggested that Texans fans would make up half the crowd at a San Antonio game (link via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle).
- Perhaps responding to Mark Davis‘ visit to San Antonio, Oakland mayor Jean Quan took to Twitter last night to announce that the city is “seeing progress” on a new stadium for the Raiders as well as MLB’s Athletics.
- After signing an extension through 2015 today, Bills running back Fred Jackson suggested he’d like to play for three or four more seasons, tweets ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak.
- Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap is a fan of the Colts’ offseason signing of Hakeem Nicks, identifying the wideout’s contract as the best one on the team’s books. Linebacker Erik Walden gets the dubious honor of least team-friendly deal for Indianapolis, according to Fitzgerald.