There is no question that the Chiefs needed help at quarterback, and Smith provides an upgrade to the position. The big question Chiefs fans are now wondering is this: did the team give up too much to acquire Smith?
The answer is yes. Smith is a good player, but the Chiefs are not in win-now territory. The team was the worst franchise in football last year, and will need a year or two of rebuilding to get back to playoff contention. The 34th pick in the draft is extremely valuable, as well as a mid-round pick in 2014.
The move to get Smith makes sense – there aren’t any great QB prospects in this year’s draft. The staff likely felt Smith gave them the best chance of winning over Geno Smith or Matt Barkley, and Alex will be 29-years-old when the season starts (so he has several years of football left in him). It just seems like the Chiefs could have acquired Smith at a cheaper price, especially since it has become clear he is firmly the backup to Kaepernick in San Francisco.
The Chiefs could still take a quarterback in the draft and groom them for the future. The team may gamble on Geno Smith with the top pick, or attempt to trade down several spots in the first round and take a quarterback then. Kansas City also could take a chance on a project later in the draft, but losing their second-round pick gives the team less flexibility. Most feel that the team isn’t sold on any QBs in this year’s draft, and will instead take a player like Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel and attempt to find a young QB in the future.
With the acquisition of Smith, it appears that Kansas City will release Matt Cassel. Cassel is due $7.75 million in 2013.
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