There’s mutual interest in a contract extension between the Chiefs and quarterback Alex Smith, but that doesn’t mean an agreement is around the corner. The two sides continue to chat, but a deal still doesn’t seem imminent, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports 1 (on Twitter).
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton recently agreed to a contract extension that many view as a pacesetter for the quarterback middle class and it is widely expected to have an impact on a QB like Smith. However, he recently said that the six-year, $115MM deal doesn’t make sense to him as a baseline since he’s seeking a deal that he will “play out.” Dalton’s deal, while potentially lucrative, allows the Bengals to cut bait midway through the pact with little penalty.
Smith has also rejected Colin Kaepernick‘s deal as a viable comp since he, like Dalton, was still on his rookie contract. Both players ostensibly ceded some long-term benefits in exchange for a 2014 pay bump. Smith probably wouldn’t make that kind of concession since he’s in line to earn a healthy $7.5MM in 2014.
It’s in the Chiefs best interest to work out a new deal with Smith since they’d rather not bid for him on the open market and they probably aren’t eager about franchise tagging him. The franchise tag for a quarterback would cost the Chiefs roughly $18MM in 2015. The Chiefs are willing to cut into their considerable cap space to get something done, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, but they are wary of making a sizable commitment to an older quarterback. After all, coach Andy Reid has a track record for developing QBs and KC could instead groom a younger, cheaper option for the role at some point.