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Mr. Alex Smith goes to Kansas City, officially joins Chiefs

By Adam Teicher

The Kansas City Star

Published: Thursday, March 14 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Kansas City Chiefs newly signed quarterback Alex Smith listens to a question during a news conference at the teams practice facility in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

Orlin Wagner, AP

Video via KCTV5

KANSAS CITY, Mo. From the time the San Francisco 49ers season ended in early February and quarterback Alex Smith began to consider a future elsewhere, he had a preferred destination in mind.

He looked toward Kansas City, where the Chiefs needed a new starting quarterback and had just hired a head coach with a reputation for developing passers.

That, the former No. 1 overall draft pick said Wednesday, was when he expressed his desire to be traded to the Chiefs. From there, it didnt take long until Smiths wish was granted.

I made it clear to the 49ers that I wanted to play, Smith said at his introductory news conference, one day after the trade that sent him to the Chiefs was formally completed. They made it clear they werent going to release me. Then the process started with potential teams. There was no doubt in my mind this is where I wanted to be. It wasnt close. Everything pointed here.

Attired in a dapper gray suit and crisp white dress shirt, the bearded Smith spoke highly of new Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

The opportunity to work with coach Reid was something that, from all the quarterbacks Ive ever talked to theyve only had good things to say, Smith said. From the outside looking in, you see the talent thats here. You see the potential. Its just a matter of getting things going, getting the chemistry right, the culture right.

In return for Smith, the Chiefs sent their second-round draft pick this year plus a conditional 2014 draft choice to the 49ers.

The Chiefs on Wednesday also acquired Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donnie Avery, the fourth free agent they nabbed in the first 24 hours of the NFLs signing period. In 2012, Avery had the best season of his four-year pro career, catching 60 passes and scoring three touchdowns.

It has been a busy week at One Arrowhead Drive. Former Miami Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano, former New York Jets defensive end Mike DeVito and former New Orleans Saints quarterback Chase Daniel all agreed to contract terms with the Chiefs on Tuesday.

If you took one common denominator of the free agents weve brought in this far, theres a certain toughness and grit about them, Reid said. Maybe theyre not the flashiest of players, but theyre hard-nosed, tough guys and theyve proven that. I welcome that to our football team. I think our locker room will welcome that.

The signature move of the new administration of Reid and general manager John Dorsey is the trade for Smith. The Chiefs were desperate for a starting quarterback after going through last season with Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn, the NFLs two lowest rated passers.

While Smith wanted to come to Kansas City, the Chiefs also settled on him as their preferred target. Their options for finding a new starting quarterback werent many. Free-agent and realistic trade possibilities were otherwise mainly journeymen.

The Chiefs still have the first pick in this years NFL Draft. But Dorsey recently said in an interview he wasnt sure any quarterback was worthy of being a first-round pick, much less the No. 1 pick.

The terms of the trade with San Francisco were agreed upon more than two weeks ago but the exchange couldnt be completed until Tuesday, when the NFLs trading period began.

Despite also adding Daniel to the mix at quarterback, Reid made clear that there will be no competition for the starting spot.

Alex is the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, Reid said.

Daniel is a local fan favorite after playing in college at Missouri. That could create some pressure on Reid to switch to Daniel if Smith falters.

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