Speculation about Alex Smith's future with or without the Kansas City Chiefs is quickly metamorphosing into one of the biggest storylines of the offseason, and it looks like he's having some fun with all the crazy possibilities out there.
"I haven't even thought about that," Smith said while laughing Tuesday on The Dan Patrick Show, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. "They've got nowhere to go but up. 1-31 over the last two years just sounds amazing."
While his humorous optimism probably would still endear him to Hue Jackson, it seems Smith has his sights playing for a more competitive team that isn't wading through the aftermath of a winless season deep in the throes of a long-standing rebuild. After helping guide the Chiefs to the AFC West title this season, Smith seems more inclined to play for a contender.
"You would love to go a place that, if that's the case, if you're going somewhere, yeah, you want to go somewhere you have a chance to have success," he said. "I feel that [way]. Wouldn't you?"
Smith and the Chiefs are at a crossroads. At 33 years old, Smith has shown no signs of decline, but he's on a contract that expires after next season. He's due $20.6 million, including a $2 million roster bonus that triggers if he's on the team at the start of training camp. If released before then, he'll count just $3.6 million against the salary cap.
Will he replicate or even improve on the strong numbers (4,024 yards 26 TDs and 104.7 QB rating) he amassed in 2017? Perhaps. But with Patrick Mahomes waiting to usurp Smith's starter role, it'll be intriguing to see how Chiefs general manager Brett Veach handles this delicate situation. As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted earlier this month, the Chiefs are open to trading him, even if they're more in listening mode rather than actively looking for trade partners.
Although Smith said he wishes he could be in control of his 2018 destiny, he hopes he'll be staying in Kansas City.
"I love where I'm at right now," Smith said. "I feel like we underachieved. I felt like offensively last year we did some awesome things. But who knows? I've been playing long enough, I've been through this before, the trade deal, so I'm not naive to it. This is a crazy business. A lot of crazy stuff can happen, so we'll see."