Hope you weren't hoping for a calm Tuesday night ahead of Super Bowl LII, because the Chiefs and Redskins had no interest in that, delivering huge Washington news in an off-the-top-rope deal that sends Alex Smith to the Redskins.
According to reports, the deal involves the Redskins giving up a third-round pick and potentially cornerback Kendall Fuller. It also involves Smith getting a massive contract from Washington, with the Redskins handing him a four-year extension worth $94 million that features $70 million guaranteed and gets him $23.5 million per year. Hoo boy that is a lot of cheese.
Anyway, subscribe to our Pick Six Podcast as we break it all down. Let's get to some winners and losers.,
Kirk Cousins: The most obvious choice by a wide margin, Cousins is about to make Scrooge McDuck money on the open market. Cousins spent the last two years playing for the Redskins on one-year deals, playing through the franchise tag and refusing to cave on the Redskins' demands to take less money than he believed he was worth. Barring something VERY unexpected, the Redskins and Cousins will not be negotiating any further on a contract, and the Redskins will not be utilizing a third franchise tag or the transition tag on Cousins. The result is a 29-year-old quarterback hitting unrestricted free agency in a league where there are multiple teams desperate for a quarterback.
Andy Reid: How many times is Reid going to swing a deal for a quarterback where he comes out on top? The Redskins know what happens when they make a deal with Reid that involves a veteran quarterback. Or at least they should.
Reid has now moved A.J. Feeley, Kevin Kolb, Donovan McNabb and Smith throughout his career with the Eagles and Chiefs.
Andy Reid has traded:— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 31, 2018
AJ Feeley for a 2nd round pick
Kevin Kolb for a 2nd round pick + DRC
Donovan McNabb for a 2nd round pick
Alex Smith for a 3rd round pick + Kendall Fuller
The next quarterback who he trades that does better with his new team than with Reid will be the first. Reid cleared up $17 million in cap space, added Kendall Fuller (a very good young cornerback) and picked up a third-round pick in the process. What a massive victory for the Chiefs front office.
Alex Smith: It's also hard not to include Smith here off the bat. The Chiefs controlled where he was going to play next and they sent him somewhere with a good coach (Jay Gruden), some nice weapons (Jordan Reed, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder) and a huge new contract ($91 million total, $71 million guaranteed, $23.5 million over four years). The one downside of Washington for Smith is the vitriol he receives from fans could be a little more intense and a little more heated than it was in Kansas City. But let's be clear: Smith might not have the sexiest career path, but he has been a very good quarterback for the last seven years. Smith went 19-5-1 with the 49ers in his final two years in San Francisco. He was 50-26 with the Chiefs, taking over after a two-win season and leading Kansas City to the playoffs for four straight years. Smith can be a steady presence for a fluctuating franchise in a division that is consistently shifting.
Patrick Mahomes: It was highly unlikely Smith would be on the Chiefs roster by the start of the new year, not with their salary-cap situation. , the Chiefs were going to get value in return. But there was also a chance the Chiefs decided not to give Smith away for free if they didn't get the value they believed he was worth in return. If Smith was on the roster when the season started, he would be on the bench behind Mahomes, and it might have been awkward. Instead, the immensely talented Texas Tech product with a cannon arm is going to be unleashed in Reid's system. It will be fun to watch.
Super Bowl week drama: The Patriots have done this too often to make things spicy -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are both hurt and neither feels like a big storyline somehow -- and the Eagles have yet to embrace any major aggressiveness or controversy. In short, the Super Bowl has been boring two days in. The Smith trade is a shot in the arm that will propel the convo off the Eagles-Patriots matchup for about 24 hours, get us later into the week, kickstart the Cousins free agency chatter and spice up a boring week.
Redskins: As I mentioned, Washington secured a good quarterback in Smith who gives them a high floor at the position and sets them up for sustainable success over the next year or so. Maybe three or four. They still need to figure out the long-term solution at the position, however, and it's not clear this move is designed to do that. Additionally, the Redskins just gave up a talented young cornerback in Fuller, who would not have been moved if former GM Scot McCloughan was still around.
The general reaction from the Redskins fans, that I could see, was not ... enthusiastic. And, to be honest, the more I think about the long-term commitment here, the less I like it. I was on board with the move by Washington at first. Let's say they give up a third-round pick for Smith, give him a one-year extension, draft the next quarterback in the first round and build a bridge while letting Cousins walk after investing tons of cash into a quarterback they drafted, well, yeah sure that works. The Redskins needed to move on from Cousins and doing so with Smith is smart. But it does not make a lot of sense to give a 33-year-old quarterback $70 million guaranteed over four years while trading away a talented young quarterback on a rookie contract. By all accounts the Redskins and Cousins decided not to really talk down the stretch of the season and the Redskins clearly decided to simply move on from Cousins without having any discussions about a long-term deal.
Kendall Fuller: In one sense, Fuller is actually a winner because he goes to a great spot in Kansas City. But he was still the last person to know that he was getting traded, apparently finding out his name was being mentioned from an Adam Schefter tweet.
Awkward... 😳🤔— Kendall Fuller (@KeFu11er) January 31, 2018
And then thinking "wait no I'm not getting traded, I'm a great young asset, why would the Redskins trade me??"
Nahh its not me.. I don’t thinkk— Kendall Fuller (@KeFu11er) January 31, 2018
Lol im on here tryna find out just like yaa 👀
And then finally deciding he wasn't getting traded.
Mannnnn im safe! I ain’t get traded— Kendall Fuller (@KeFu11er) January 31, 2018
Narrator: "He was getting traded."
Robert Griffin III: RG3 remains convinced he'll get blamed for the whole Alex Smith thing.
Some how...Some way...they will blame this on me. No doubt 🤷🏾♂️— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 31, 2018
Cleveland Browns: Perpetually on this side of the list, so this feels a little bad and perhaps unnecessary, but the Browns are a notable team in terms of missing on Smith. Cleveland needs a quarterback -- particularly a bridge quarterback depending on who they take at the top of the draft -- and Smith would have been an excellent choice, given his history with John Dorsey, Cleveland's GM. The history with Reid and Dorsey made them logical trading partners, but nothing came together. Cleveland wasn't alone in missing on Smith, the Browns and Redskins who were asking about a possible Smith trade.