When the information robots began to simultaneously declare that the Chiefs had traded quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, the more accurate characterization was that the two teams and Smith had struck tentative deals both to trade Smith and to extend his contract.
Even now, more than a week later, either the trade or the contract extension can fall through, since the trade can’t happen until March 14. And if the football-following world learned anything in the aftermath of the Josh McDaniels situation, it’s that nothing is done until it’s actually done.
It remains unlikely that the Smith deal will fall through, but it still could. Especially if Washington continues to flirt with the stupid notion of applying the franchise tag to quarterback Kirk Cousins. If they go through with it — and if Cousins were to sign the one-year tender, putting him under contract for one year at $34.47 million — Smith could instantly lose interest in joining a team that potentially will be stuck with Cousins and an untradeable one-year contract.
Also, if Washington decides to play a game of chess/chicken with Cousins and loses, Washington may independently decide to keep Cousins for a year, canceling the trade and explaining to the Chiefs and Smith that circumstances unexpectedly changed.
Either way, the McDaniels incident should remind everyone that, until these deals are officially done, anything can happen. And, sometimes, anything does.