Alex Smith trade can’t be finalized until March 14

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Actually, you have. But we’ll keep going anyway.

The trade that will send quarterback Alex Smith to Washington can’t be finalized until the new league year begins on March 14. This means that, technically, the deal can fall though between now and then.

Technically, no deal is done until it’s done. That was the case five years ago, when the Chiefs acquired Smith from the 49ers. The deal was reported before the start of the league year, but the deal wasn’t done — and could have been undone — before then.

Officially, Washington or Kansas City could back out of the latest Alex Smith trade. Smith, also, could decide he doesn’t want to sign a contract extension in Washington, which could make Washington less interested in consummating the deal.

Already, reports have surfaced that the Browns and Cardinals had interest in Smith. Other teams may have tried to get him, too. Other teams may decide, not that the trade and financial parameters have been leaked, to try to outdo what Washington has done.

It definitely would create hard feelings and bruised egos if anyone reneges. It would also be hard for the Chiefs, Washington, and/or Alex Smith’s agent to do business in the future if this one falls through. Regardless, it still can fall through at any point between now and March 14, because it can’t be official until then.