Shield Talk: Smith trade biggest story leading up to Super Bowl


Brent Jansen, Columnist

Super Bowl LII is only a few days away, but the biggest story of the week isn’t David (Nick Foles) vs Goliath (Tom Brady) – it’s a blockbuster quarterback trade.

The Kansas City Chiefs traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins on Tuesday night. In return, the Chiefs will receive a third-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, as well as cornerback Kendall Fuller.

This trade creates a lot of uncertainty for the future, and most of that uncertainty comes in the form of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. No one expected Cousins to return to the Redskins after being under the franchise tag for the past two seasons, but this trade means that Cousins doesn’t have to make the decision. It has been made for him.

The good news for Cousins is that there are a healthy number of options acting as possible landing spots, most notably the Browns. The Cleveland franchise that has failed at drafting a quarterback for the last two decades may find signing a proven, veteran free agent is the best option. But the Browns aren’t the only team that might need a quarterback. That list is actually quite long:

  • Giants
  • Jaguars
  • Jets
  • Bills
  • Vikings
  • Dolphins
  • Cardinals
  • Broncos
  • Colts
  • Buccaneers

And while the Browns are the most in need of a quarterback (and can probably pay the most), the Denver Broncos are likely the most attractive. With a top-five defense and a decent offensive unit, the team is a good quarterback away from being a playoff contender.

Not only is Cousins’ future uncertain, but so is the future of Kansas City’s quarterback productivity. With the Smith trade, the Chiefs have announced that Patrick Mahomes will most likely start the 2018 season.

Mahomes, the tenth overall pick in the 2017 draft, is an unproven product out of Texas Tech. He only played in one game this season and the one game he played in was average at best (22-of-35 passing, 284 yards, one interception). Whether Mahomes will perform up to the high set expectations left by Smith is to be determined.

The last, most obvious unknown is how Smith will perform in Washington. Smith has thrived over the past five seasons with Kansas City, leading the team to a 50-26 record as a starter.

But part of Smith’s success can be attributed to great coaching in Andy Reid and a number of offensive weapons: Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Jeremy Maclin, to name a few. The Redskins roster lacks offensive playmakers.

So, the question remains: Can Alex Smith carry a team to success?

Oh, and by the way, the Super Bowl is this Sunday, in case you were wondering.

Columnist Brent Jansen can be found on Twitter @brentjans. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to [email protected]For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.