By Aaron Charles @aaroncharleskc on June 16, 2014
The Kansas City Chiefs' front office and Alex Smith are currently in the middle of contract negotiations. Smith should be able to pull in around $ 15 million per year, give or take $ 1-2 million. Whatever number he is asking for, the Chiefs need to pay up, and here are five reasons why.
Kansas City knows all too well what life is like without a proven starting quarterback. In the six seasons before Smith, the Chiefs shuffled between Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen and Tyler Palko. That bunch went 29-67 collectively, including fours seasons with four wins or less. The Chiefs can't afford another run like that, and need a proven winner at quarterback.
One factor that could ease the pain of a big contract is the likelihood of more cap space in the future. It would at least soften the blow a bit.
By cutting Flowers, the Chiefs saved about $ 7.25 million against the cap in 2014 and $ 7.5 million in 2015. Tamba Hali's hefty contract will be off the books by the end of 2014 as well. The team now has plenty of cap space to get a big deal done, and Smith should be the top priority.
Those who believe the numbers rumored for his contract are too high need to remember that he is a proven winner at the game's most impactful position. Eric Berry, Dwayne Bowe, and Tamba Hali are all set to make more than Smith this season. Would any of those players missing time hurt the Chiefs as much as Smith's absence? I don't think it's even close. Smith should be the highest-paid player on the team.
Smith has gotten much better with age. He's admitted that the pressure got too him early in his career, and that he couldn't get out of his own head. He's passed that now and proven it in his last three seasons. Smith is the efficient, intelligent, versatile quarterback the Chiefs need. His ability to buy time with his legs and make decisions under pressure will be vital with Kansas City's very young and inexperienced offensive line.
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