The Kansas City Chiefs completed a trade on Tuesday evening that sent quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins. The deal helps rid the Chiefs of $17 million dollars they would have owed Smith in 2018, and they can now begin to build around 2017 first round pick, Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs will reportedly receive a third round pick in exchange for Smith, as well as very talented cornerback Kendall Fuller who should start right away opposite Marcus Peters and help solidify a defense that struggled the past year.

When the Chiefs decided to trade up in the 2017 draft to select Patrick Mahomes in the first round, it set the expiration clock on Alex Smith’s time in Kansas City. Smith had a career year in 2017, completing 68% of his passes, throwing for a career high 4042 yards, and ranked first in the league in completions, completion percentage, and touchdowns to targets over 30 yards down the field. (Pretty good for a guy who “can’t” throw the deep ball). Smith will also become the first quarterback in NFL history to be traded over leading the league in touchdown to interception ratio.

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Patrick Mahomes already has one of the strongest arms in the league, but I’m not sold that he’s ready to lead the Chiefs on a deep playoff run. Don’t get me wrong, the Chiefs will succeed in 2018 and win a lot of games, but in large part it will be with or without Patrick Mahomes. The defense should be better next season with Eric Berry coming back healthy.  The team still has dynamic playmaker Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce is still Travis Kelce, and Spencer Ware should return from injury as well, which will help create one of the best backfield duos with Kareem Hunt.

I understand why the Chiefs traded Alex Smith rather than letting him walk after the 2018 season and after what they will reportedly receive for him, it looks like the deal could be a good long-term move. However, Patrick Mahomes is just 22 years old and has made one career start. I’ve watched a lot of young promising quarterbacks enter the league and the biggest thing that makes or breaks their success is time. Patrick Mahomes is absolutely going to need time to develop. The good news is, Patrick Mahomes is now the guy in Kansas City, and time is exactly what he’ll get. Win or lose, when the Chiefs decided to trade Alex Smith, they 100% committed to a future with Patrick Mahomes.

Eventually I think Patrick Mahomes will be a really solid NFL quarterback. I am not expecting him to carry the Chiefs  on his own in the foreseeable future, and with a very talented roster, he will not have to. I am sad to see Alex Smith go as I believe the Chiefs had a chance to do something really special with him in 2018. He gave Kansas City fans five great years, and I wish him nothing but the best moving forward with the Washington Redskins. As far as the Chiefs go, I am excited to see the development of Patrick Mahomes in 2018 and for many years to come.

This article first appeared on and was syndicated with permission.


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