How the Alex Smith Trade Impacts Both the Chiefs and Redskins

Alex Smith hands off” by Victor Araiza is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Bye Kirk Cousins. Alex Smith has been traded to the Washington Redskins! The now former Chiefs quarterback has a new home, along with a nice new extension. Moments after acquiring their new quarterback, the Redskins signed Smith to a long term deal, something Cousins wasn’t willing to do.

A trade like this can have a big impact on both teams involved. The Redskins now have their long term quarterback they’ve been wanting, while the Chiefs just traded away the top rated quarterback of the regular season. Let’s look a little deeper into how this move impacts both the Chiefs and the Redskins moving forward.

Washington Redskins

We’ll start with the team getting a new quarterback. Alex Smith has been playing some pretty good football over the past few years. This past season was a record year for him. He’s been a consistent quarterback, and now the Redskins have him locked up for a while. This is what they’ve been trying to do for a while with Kirk Cousins, only now they found a player worth the money they were willing to give.

Heading into the offseason, many believed Kirk Cousins would become a free agent, leaving the Redskins in a hole at quarterback. This was a smart move on the part of the Redskins, allowing them to fill that hole and now focus on building the team elsewhere.

Building the team elsewhere takes time. Just because the Redskins have security at the quarterback spot, it doesn’t mean everything will be fixed right away. There are still other holes this team needs to fill. As things sit right now, I don’t really see the Redskins being much better. Yes, Alex Smith posted better numbers than Cousins this season, but the two seasons before that Cousins had better numbers than Smith. Really the only thing that changed at quarterback is the amount of time the quarterback will be there.

Even though I believe this team isn’t much better, if better at all right now, again it does allow them to focus on other places. Instead of having to focus on drafting and developing a quarterback, the Redskins can focus on getting weapons for Smith to throw to, or finding pieces to start building an elite defense. It’s for that reason I think this was a good move for the Redskins. Security, experience, and consistency at the most important position and being able to focus on building around that is a win for this team.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City has placed their future in the hands of Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has played in one career game, which was against the Denver Broncos. Mahomes passed for 284 yards, 0 TD’s, and 1 INT. Not exactly what you want to see when you place your future in the hands of that person, but it’s also not much to go on. The potential is obviously there, as Mahomes was a first round pick a season ago. The Chiefs wouldn’t have picked Mahomes if they didn’t have a plan for him to step into the starting role eventually.

For now, the Chiefs are probably a worse team. Unlike the Redskins, the Chiefs have inexperience at the most important position. Mahomes could have a great season like we’ve seen some other recent youngsters have, or he could have a mediocre season, or even a bad one. There’s potential there, but we don’t know how that’s going to play out yet. Like the Redskins, the Chiefs do have consistency at the position. Mahomes still has a while left on his contract before the Chiefs will have to worry about that.

Because the Chiefs have consistency, this also allows them to focus on building their team in other areas. Build an elite defense to give your young quarterback good field position. Continue to find weapons on offense for Mahomes to use. Whatever they want to do, they have more room to go out and do it. By trading Smith, the Chiefs saved $17 million. That’s a decent chunk of change to use elsewhere.

Who Won the Trade?

Short term, the Redskins won the trade. They already have an experienced quarterback and can now focus on building their team in other areas. Long term, it could be either team, depending on how well they do in free agency, the draft, and how well Patrick Mahomes progresses. I can see why both teams did what they did. One team is set up more for now, while the other is set up for the future. Will the present of the Redskins outweigh the future of the Chiefs? Will it be the other way around? We’ll have to wait and see.

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