Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The Washington Redskins are pegging their future on Alex Smith via the first blockbuster trade of 2018.
The Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs reached an agreement in principle Tuesday to trade Smith to Washington for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round draft pick, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
The trade agreement, according to Rapoport, is expected to be finalized Wednesday.
As part of the agreement, the Redskins are giving Smith a four-year contract extension worth $94 million with a whopping $71 million in guarantees, sources told Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Smith's contract from the Chiefs was slated to expire at the end of the 2018 season.
With Smith set to be the Redskins' new quarterback, Washington is expected to let Kirk Cousins test the free agency waters. Cousins has played the last two seasons under the franchise tag and could potentially become the highest-paid player in NFL history.
Cousins fetched just under $24 million under the tag in 2017, and he's poised to generate plenty of interest from teams potentially willing to pay top money for a passer of his caliber.
Several teams, including the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals could be part of the potential Cousins sweepstakes.
As for Smith, the 33-year-old is set to start over with his third team after being displaced by another up-and-coming passer.
The 49ers parted ways with Smith on the heels of Colin Kaepernick's breakout 2012 campaign, and Kansas City is looking ahead to its future with soon-to-be sophomore signal caller Patrick Mahomes.
Selected 10th overall by the Chiefs in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mahomes performed admirably in his one start, completing 22 of 35 for 284 yards in a Week 17 win over the Broncos.
The Chiefs save $17 million in salary-cap space by parting ways with Smith. He was coming off a very strong 2017 campaign (4,024 yards 26 TDs and a league-best 104.7 QB rating) that ultimately ended in disappointment when the AFC West champions fell to the Tennessee Titans on Wild Card Weekend. In his five years in Kansas City, Smith was 1-4 in the playoffs.
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