Head coach Andy Reid confirmed that Smith will still be the Chiefs' starting quarterback despite the team's selection of Pat Mahomes at No. 10 overall, Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star reports. "I don't worry about Alex on this," Reid said. "Alex knows we trust him. Alex is the starting quarterback. Nothing is going to change there. The kid is going to take some time. He understands that. While Mahomes presumably won't challenge Smith for the Week 1 starting job, the Chiefs' decision to give up three early-round picks for the young quarterback means there will be pressure to make a midseason change if the team doesn't live up to expectations early in the year. It does seem the Chiefs are well positioned to avoid such a scenario, with Smith coming off a strong 2016 season and surrounded by the best supporting cast he's had since arriving in Kansas City. The larger concern is Smith's future beyond 2017, as his contract only runs through 2018 and doesn't have any guaranteed payments left. Given what the team surrendered in Thursday's trade, Mahomes likely will be groomed to take over the starting job in 2018. Smith will celebrate his 33rd birthday in May, but he could still be a valuable trade chip next offseason as a potential one-year stopgap with a reasonable salary.
Smith expects the Chiefs to add another quarterback, Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star reports. "This is the NFL, I've been playing long enough," Smith said. "You pretty quickly realize we have three guys right now in the quarterback room, right? We're a guy short. Someone's coming in." Kansas City carried four quarterbacks during the offseason each of the past four years, and with former undrafted free agents Tyler Bray and Joel Stave the only other signal-callers on its current roster, the team may be ready to draft Smith's potential successor. While the Chiefs could use an early-round pick to secure a quarterback with a higher long-term ceiling than Smith, it's hard to imagine the 32-year-old will face any real competition for the starting job before 2018 or 2019. Though far from spectacular, Smith has led the Chiefs to a winning record in each of his four seasons with the team.
Smith completed 20 of 34 passes for 172 yards with one touchdown and one interception during the Chiefs' divisional-round playoff loss to the Steelers on Sunday. He added nine rushing yards on two carries. Another day, the same old Alex Smith. The Chiefs quarterback was his usual unspectacular self Sunday and unfortunately had a few strokes of bad luck as well that ultimately assured Kansas City's demise. His interception came off a tipped pass that fell in the hands of Steelers LB Ryan Shazier and a holding penalty by tackle Eric Fisher negated a successful two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game at 18-18 with just minutes to go in the game. Key drops by Spencer Ware, Travis Kelce and Albert Wilson only made things worse. Despite returning a stellar receiving corps that includes the likes of Kelce, Jeremy Maclin and Tyreek Hill in 2017, Smith simply doesn't appear to possess the upside to join the upper echelon of fantasy quarterbacks.
Smith completed 21 of 28 passes for 264 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's 37-27 win at San Diego. He also rushed six times for 21 yards with a rushing score. Smith tossed multiple touchdowns for the first time since Week 7 and his five-yard rushing touchdown in the first half was his third straight game with a score on the ground. The only blemish on the day for Smith was when the threw an interception that was returned for a 90-yard touchdown. The Chiefs earned a first-round bye with their win and Oakland's loss at Denver, so Smith will have some time to get prepared for a home playoff game in a couple of weeks.
Smith completed 25 of his 36 pass attempts for 244 yards, a touchdown and an interception in Saturday's 33-10 victory over the Broncos. Smith threw for 300 yards in the first week of the season but has failed to do so since. The Chiefs tend to thrive on good defensive play and managing the offensive side of the ball, with Smith throwing for no more than one touchdown in each of the last eight games. His matchup against the Chargers next week is rather mediocre and it's unlikely the game-manager will do enough to warrant fantasy consideration.
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