KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Quarterback Alex Smith made his mark during the 2013 season and the Chiefs hope to keep him around beyond his current contract.
Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said during a Tuesday morning guest appearance on 610 Sports Radio that the team wouldn’t openly discuss contract negotiations in the public. But he said communication is now open between the team and Smith’s camp.
Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11)t throws a pass during the first quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
“We’ve begun the dialogue with his representatives,” Hunt said. “Where it goes, whether it’s something that gets done here in the offseason or during the season or perhaps even at the end of the season, I really don’t know how that’s going to play out.”
Smith, who turns 30 on May 7, led Kansas City to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in his first season with the Chiefs.
He threw for 3,313 yards passing and 23 touchdowns against seven interceptions on the regular season. He established career highs with 308 completions and 509 pass attempts.
Smith’s seven interceptions ranked the fewest of quarterbacks who started every game for their respective team during the 2013 regular season. He also established single-season franchise quarterback records with 431 rushing yards and 76 attempts.
Under his current contract, the eighth-year quarterback is eligible for free agency after the 2014 regular season.
However, the Chiefs like what they have in Smith.
“He’s an individual that Andy Reid has admired for many, many years,” Hunt said. “Andy tried to bring him to Philadelphia and he was delighted to be able to bring him to Kansas City.
“Alex really lived up to our expectations. He did a tremendous job on the field. I think he was a leader on game day, he was a leader in the locker room and he’s somebody that we think we can really build our franchise around.”
And if the negotiations go well, it appears the Chiefs are angling to have Smith around for more than a year or two.
“People frequently say the NFL stands for ‘Not for Long,’” Hunt said. “But long-term in the view of where we’re trying to build to I would say is over the next three to four to five years.
“That’s what we’re really looking at. My philosophy in terms of building a franchise is we’re trying to improve every year and it’s a constant building process. And we think Alex can be a positive contributor to that.”