While coach Andy Reid clearly deserves much of the credit for helping turn the Chiefs from a 2-14 team in 2012 into a playoff squad this season, it'd be difficult not to applaud the role quarterback Alex Smith played as well.
After playing like a mediocre quarterback for most of his career in San Francisco -- highlighted by the fact he was once a No. 1 overall draft pick -- Smith resurrected his career when Jim Harbaugh took over as 49ers coach before the 2011 season. But last season, after suffering a concussion, he lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick, and in the offseason, Reid acquired Smith in a trade.
And Smith immediately showed his value, playing just about as well as (or better than) he did in 2011 and helping Kansas City to the postseason. Now, the team reportedly wants to extend his contract before Smith enters the final year of his deal next season, according to the National Football Post.
Smith's contract will pay him $7.5 million for next season, and though he won't earn the kinds of extravagant contracts recently signed by Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford or Joe Flacco, Smith could earn substantially more on the free agent market with another solid season than he's scheduled to make in 2014.
And in case you think, say, $12 million per year might be too much for this so-called game manager, remember this: in the past three seasons, Smith's regular-season record is 30-10-1.
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