But there's no denying that Smith wants a contract extension, one he deserves after helping the Chiefs to 11 wins and a playoff appearance. The question, of course, is how much he's looking for and how much the team is willing to pay him.
Last Monday, the Bengals and Andy Dalton agreed to a six-year, $115 million contract. That works out to $16 million a year but it's more like a two-year deal that includes a $12 million signing bonus and $17 million guaranteed. After Year 2, the contract is essentially pay as you go.
Relatively speaking, Dalton's deal pays him like a second-tier quarterback, which is pretty much what he is.
Of the 17 passers earning the biggest salaries, Dalton ranks next to last -- ahead of only Colin Kaepernick -- in terms of the percentage of the total contract that's guaranteed (17.7 percent). Meanwhile, names like Rodgers, Ryan, Brees and Brady have between 40-58 percent of their total contracts guaranteed.
The Chiefs might have interest in structuring any deal for Smith similarly, but that doesn't mean Smith would be on board with it.
"I want to get something that's right that I'm going to play out, absolutely, and that's definitely a focus of mine," Smith told USAToday.com Saturday, indicating that he wasn't interesting in a pay-as-you-go plan.
In terms of where Smith ranks in the quarterback pecking order, he was 21st in total QB value last season, according to Football Outsiders. Dalton was 18th and Kaepernick (whose contract is similar to Dalton's) was seventh.
Ideally, Smith, who is set to make $7.5 million in 2014, is hoping for a new contract before the start of the season.
"I would love that," he said. "I certainly don't want it to carry on into the regular season and be thinking about it. It's hard to. It's hard to be dealing with it and eliminate it always. It can become a distraction. Hopefully, it gets knocked out and I won't have to worry about it."