Kansas City has agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to Washington. But there’s one quarterback-needy place the Chiefs wouldn’t have considered sending Smith to: Denver.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt told Mike Klis of 9 News in Denver that trading Smith to a division rival wouldn’t have served the Chiefs’ interests.
“I think it’s pretty typical in the NFL not to seek trades within the division,’’ Hunt said. “That’s pretty standard fare particularly when we’re talking about a high-profile player.’’
There had been some speculation that Denver could have traded cornerback Aqib Talib and a draft pick to get Smith, similar to the package Washington sent (cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick) in the trade the two teams agreed upon. But the Talib speculation doesn’t make a lot of sense: The Chiefs are near the bottom of the league in available cap space in 2018, and Talib has an $11 million base salary. The Chiefs liked Fuller because he’s under contract for two more years at $700,000 a year. That’s the kind of player a team in bad cap shape needs to acquire.
But it sounds like the Chiefs wouldn’t have sent Smith to Denver no matter what the Broncos offered. Teams do sometimes trade players within their division (Philadelphia shipping Donovan McNabb to Washington comes to mind), but the Chiefs like being on top of the AFC West while the Broncos struggle to find a quarterback, and Kansas City doesn’t want to put a starting quarterback in Denver.