Contract negotiations between the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Alex Smith are not progressing as hoped, and it could mean the former Ute's future is less certain.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the Chiefs will consider taking a quarterback in the first round of this week's NFL draft, in part because the contract negotiations for Smith, the team's current starter, have stalled.
The Chiefs have the 23rd pick in Thursday's first round. Rapoport said Kansas City "must keep (its) long-term options open."
During his first year with Kansas City, Smith threw for 3,313 yards, 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season as the Chiefs went 11-5 and reached the playoffs. Though Kansas City fell to Indianapolis 45-44 in the wild card round, Smith had a strong game, completing 30-of-46 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith, a nine-year NFL veteran who's headed into the final year of his contract, has dealt with a younger quarterback taking his starting position before. In 2012 when he was a part of the San Francisco 49ers, Smith was replaced by Colin Kaepernick after going down with a concussion. Even after Smith was cleared to return to play, San Francisco stayed with the hot-hand Kaepernick and rode him to the Super Bowl, where the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
After the season, Smith was traded to the Chiefs.
“I really love where I’m at in Kansas City and the area and the coaching staff and my teammates," Smith told the Deseret News' Dirk Facer last week, when he was in Salt Lake City to deliver the commencement speech at the University of Utah's spring graduation. "For me, it’s continuing to put yourself in the playoffs, give yourself an opportunity to make a run at the Super Bowl — and that’s really what we’re all going for is the chance to be world champion, to be the best."
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