Smith isn't extraordinary, but he's accurate, he's a winner and he doesn't make a lot of mistakes. That sold the Chiefs on him, with Kansas City preferring to part with two second-rounders, including the 34th this year, than gamble on a Geno Smith or Matt Barkley.
Which should tell you something about Smith and Barkley.
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In making the move, the Chiefs accomplished a handful of things: First, they upped the ante for anyone interested in acquiring Matt Flynn. Once upon a time it was good enough to offer a second-rounder for an A.J. Feeley. Now, it will take more -- especially with Smith off the market.
Third, they just made the second round more attractive for potential suitors that might want to wait to find their next quarterback. The Chiefs weren't going to take a quarterback with the first overall pick, and for good reason: There's not one there worth choosing.
But they figured to find one at the top of the second, where Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick disappeared in 2011. Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs in two years as a starter, and Kaepernick took the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII in 10 games as a starter.
But the Chiefs are out of the quarterback picture in the second round, and so is San Francisco, the club that acquired the 34th choice. The 49ers won't turn it into a young quarterback to develop because they already have a young quarterback to develop -- Kaepernick.
That means there's one more quarterback out there who, in all likelihood, would've been gone had Kansas City not bailed out, and that should come as a relief to someone like Arizona.
The Cardinals need a quarterback. They need offensive linemen, too. So they can take an offensive lineman with their first pick -- the seventh overall -- and wait on a quarterback with the second. One guy I trust told me there's no quarterback in this draft worth taking with a first-round choice, but it's safe to assume that Geno Smith and, maybe, Matt Barkley go there. My guess is a third will, too.
But that still leaves the 34th spot vacant, which means teams like Arizona, Buffalo, Cleveland and maybe Philadelphia might wait until the second round to find their next quarterback, and I'm talking someone like Tyler Bray or Landry Jones, Tyler Wilson, EJ Manuel, Mike Glennon or Ryan Nassib. Maybe one of them joins Smith and Barkley in the first round, but if they don't I know one team that won't be interested in Round Two.
And that's Kansas City.
But that doesn't mean the Chiefs are out of the quarterback market altogether. In 14 years in Philadelphia, Reid drafted six of them -- and depending on what he thinks of backup Ricky Stanzi he might opt for one down the board.
What this move does mean is that the Chiefs are serious about repairing a passing game that ranked dead last in the NFL and committed way too many mistakes -- and that could have repercussions for wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Bowe's contract expires next month, and the Chiefs can try to re-sign him, protect him with a franchise tag or let him walk.
The question, of course, is how much they value him. Do they see him as an impact player worth keeping or an inconsistent receiver too unreliable to retain? People in Kansas City tell me the Chiefs view Bowe as a valuable resource they want to re-sign, but if they can't they're willing to use their franchise tag on him.
I don't know how that would sit with Bowe, but what I do know is that Kansas City just made a move that could satisfy him -- namely, by offering a quarterback not named Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn. Granted, he caught a career-high 15 touchdown passes from Cassel in 2010 when the Chiefs won the division, but Cassel hasn't been the same since ... and neither has Bowe.
But the move is more significant for its impact on quarterbacks everywhere. This year's list of free-agent quarterbacks is weak, which means the value of a Matt Flynn went up. But the Chiefs' deal has consequences for the best quarterbacks in this year's draft, too, with the field wide open now that Kansas City is out of the market.