WASHINGTON — The quarterback who guided this team to success in recent years is gone, as the franchise hurdles towards a period of uncertainty. Those are the headlines in both Washington, D.C. and Kansas City after the Alex Smith trade earlier this week.
Only time will tell if Smith represents a forward pass, lateral or fumble over the established Kirk Cousins, who will depart in free agency. Similarly, former teammates in KC are queasy that Smith’s consistency will be missed as the team turns to Patrick Mahomes.
“He knew how to go about each day at work and guided his team to victory after victory,” linebacker Tamba Hali told the Kansas City Star. “Most of my wins with the Chiefs came with him at the quarterback position. What he’s left behind is just how you should handle yourself at that position, regardless of adversity.”
Calm, cool and collected. You probably won’t hear, “You like that!” in the postgame tunnel, but he also won’t get down on himself.
“I just feel like he’s had so much scrutiny, he hasn’t really been able to just go out there and get the praise,” lamented tight end Travis Kelce. “I wanted to get at least one more chance to chase this ring with Alex.
“One of my brothers on the team, and he means everything to this franchise, I thought. He just came off his best season yet. It’s just tough, man. I still can’t really describe it. It’s a (bad) feeling.”
Cut from a different cloth than quarterbacks overly concerned with branding and merchandise, Smith seems to be a bit of a throwback at the position. He doesn’t put up gaudy numbers, but he finds ways to win. After all, wins are the only stat that matters.
That’s why former teammate Vernon Davis is thrilled to be reunited with his former quarterback, 3,000 miles from where their journey began in San Francisco.
“Fantastic,” he told TMZ Sports when asked what he thought of the trade. “I liked it. He’s going to be great for us. It just goes around, full circle.”
Perhaps the best news is that D.C. sports fans are spared from several more months of speculation about what the team would do at the quarterback position. The feeling is mutual in KC.
“You knew [a trade] was coming at some point — it’s never a surprise in this business,” Derrick Johnson told the Star. “But Alex is going to do a great job [for Washington].”