Quarterback Alex Smith has made it clear that at some point if talks between his representation and the Chiefs can’t yield a new deal, he would cut off contract talks so he can focus on the season.
But with the Chiefs’ regular-season opener a week and a half away, Smith said Tuesday that he still hasn’t decided on a cutoff date.
“No, I haven’t — I wish I had an answer for you,” Smith said. “I feel like I’ve kind of been locked into games and practicing. With camp winding down here, preseason winding down, certainly we’ll see. But sorry. No answer for you today.”
Smith has one year left on a deal that will pay him $7.5 million this season. The Chiefs can retain his services by franchising him next offseason but might have to use the tag on star outside linebacker Justin Houston, whose deal also runs out after this season.
Smith was then asked if he was worried his contract status might affect his ability to lead his teammates this season, because his uncertain contract situation has already gotten plenty of attention.
“I can’t speak on how those guys think,” Smith said. “I certainly know that for myself … it’s the last thing I’m thinking about. I think that as a football player, when you’re in that locker room it’s: What is that guy putting in? What is he sacrificing? Is he accountable? How bad does he want it for the team?
“Those are the things I think about as a teammate and that I look for in my teammates ... no matter what, if a guy is on his last year or he’s in a dispute, he’s tagged, whatever those things might be.”