On Tuesday night, major news broke in the NFL, but not for anything to do with the Super Bowl, which will be played this Sunday.
The news that broke was the Kansas City Chiefs trading quarterback Alex Smith to Washington in exchange for a 2018 third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller. Several other teams were in the race to land Smith per several reports, including the Browns and Broncos. The addition of Fuller is what made Washington the winner in the Smith sweepstakes.
If you thought this was completely random, especially during Super Bowl week, you are not alone.
Smith spent the last five seasons as the signal caller of the Chiefs, where he enjoyed much success. In his five seasons with the Chiefs, he had a record of 50-26, to go with 17,608 passing yards, 102 touchdowns and just 33 interceptions. He led the team to the playoffs in four of his five seasons, yet was only 1-4.
In 2017, Smith completed 68 percent of his passes, which was the second-highest of his career. The only other season he completed passes at a higher percentage was in 2012 when he completed 70 percent. Ironically enough, he was traded from San Francisco to Kansas City.
For Kansas City, the Patrick Mahomes era is officially under way. The 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft will now be the man for the Chiefs. He is a strong-armed quarterback who will take risks and sling the ball to his myriad of weapons. He will also be under the tutelage of Andy Reid, who has proven that he can develop successful quarterbacks in this league.
The Chiefs also got a good return in Fuller, who is already considered one of the top slot corners in the league. He will be a nice addition to the already loaded secondary. While he primarily played in the slot for Washington, Kendall has he ability to play outside as well. Giving Kansas City another young corner to play opposite Marcus Peters.
Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.
What does this mean for Cousins moving forward? Well, for starters, it means he will get paid in a big way.
Cousins will hit the open market and will likely be the highest paid football come March, when free agency officially opens up. He said he did not want to negotiate with Washington until they decided whether or not to use the franchise tag on him for a third-consecutive year, which would have paid him a cool $35 million.
Now, Cousins will get to choose the team he goes to, or in other words, the team that is willing to dish out the most cash. Several teams around the league are in need of a quarterback and to have one of Cousins’ stature; a quarterback in the prime of his career at the age of 29.
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league and if you don’t have a quarterback, you likely aren’t going to be serious Super Bowl contenders. A team like the Denver Broncos are a team that is a quarterback away from being back in the championship hunt. Teams like the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets also need a big-time quarterback and would need said quarterback to be the catalyst in turning their franchises around.
This will have a domino effect on the quarterback market. As previously stated, Cousins could very well become the highest paid player in football. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints can also test the free agent market, but will have leverage on the Saints where he could say that he is worth more than Cousins.
A deal in January isn’t common, especially one of this magnitude. The Chiefs were able to get a good deal for a quarterback they knew they were getting rid of. Washington gets a quarterback to replace Cousins without it being in the draft. Cousins gets the freedom he has wanted for the past couple years and is now able to see dollar signs for years to come.
This deal, which can’t be finalized until March when the 2018 season opens up, will definitely have a ripple effect on the league. This deal also is a win-win for everyone involved.