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USA Today examines ex-Utah quarterback and his situation with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“For most quarterbacks, the type of season Alex Smith had would result in a contract extension,” writes Lindsay H. Jones, who noted that Smith had career highs in passing yards (4,042), touchdown passes (26) and quarterback rating (a league-high 104.7). Smith also matched his career low for interceptions (five) and led the Chiefs to a second consecutive AFC West title.

“Ordinarily, those accomplishments might seem like enough to convince his bosses to pay him a $2 million bonus in March and the rest of his $14.5 million salary due next season,” Jones continued. “But this has been no ordinary run for Smith, who has played all year knowing that it might be his final go-around in Kansas City.”

The Chiefs face the Tennessee Titans in the NFL playoffs on Saturday.

Other links

Jon Wilner of the Mercury News notes that Pac-12 football is headed toward crisis mode, especially after a 1-8 bowl season. Utah was the lone team to prevail.

Ex-Ute Marcus Williams of the New Orleans Saints came up big with two interceptions in the regular-season finale. (NOLA.com)

Former Runnin’ Ute Kyle Kuzma took a different path than other NBA rookies like Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz. (The Sporting News)

And finally ...

Will Utah alum C.J. Cron be traded away by the Los Angeles Angels? (mlbtraderumors.com)