On the week of the Super Bowl and during our President’s annual State of the Union address, surely many weren’t expecting NFL trade news, but that’s just what happened tonight. According to the Kansas City Star, the Chiefs are trading Quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins for a 2018 third-round pick and a player to be named at a later date.
While the deal cannot be officially finalized until the first day of the new league year in March, it has a series of rippled effects. First, the Chiefs are ushering in a new era with Patrick Mahomes after trading up and selecting him in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and a first-round playoff exit to the lowly Tennessee Titans. Second, the Redskins are letting the QB whom they never wanted to extend long-term in Kirk Cousins walk in free agency and he’s going to get paid through the nose. Lastly, Smith has already received a contract extension of four-years tying him to the Nation’s Capital for the next five years with a reported $70M guaranteed.
Jay Gruden and Dan Snyder never really believed in Cousins and he was never really their solution long-term. How else do you explain this move to acquire another QB before he even hits the market and extend him to a four-year deal before he even enters your facility? They franchise-tagged and toyed with Cousins year-after-year and now have officially ripped off the band-aid in acquiring long-time NFL starter in Alex Smith.
Don’t get me wrong, for Washington its a steal to get Smith for a third-rounder if you know Cousins is walking regardless in free agency. They pissed him off long ago and he’s going to go to a place where’s he is welcomed and appreciated. Gruden has a great game-manager coming in to a tough division and Smith gives the team a chance to continue to compete without any sort of rebuild, many could even see Smith as a potential upgrade over Cousins. Now I wouldn’t go that far, but Smith can certainly achieve the type of success he had over the last few years in Kansas City playing in Gruden’s scheme.
Don’t feel too bad for Kirk Cousins either as he will soon be paid a truck load of money once he hits the open market. Teams like the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos are expected to compete for his services and my money would be on “The Don” in Denver John Elway courting the free agent QB to the Mile High City. The relationship between Washington and Cousins went sour and it was time for each side to go their separate ways.
Still, I’m stunned this news came out tonight and the Redskins were so swift to acquire and extend another Quarterback before the off-season even began. They didn’t even try to save face and attempt to negotiate with Cousins, it was basically good luck go get your money, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Cold business by the guys in D.C. and you have to almost respect it. One thing is for sure, this trade will give the sports radio hosts in Washington plenty to digest and discuss over these next few months and leading up to the season.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank