Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on Tuesday clarified something he said last week, about the team being committed to him for only this season.
Smith has two years left on his contract, but last month the Chiefs selected a quarterback, Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech, in the first round of the NFL Draft for the first time since 1983.
Does Smith believe his days are numbered in Kansas City? His quote to a group of reporters last week — “I think they’re committed to me through this year” — suggests the Chiefs have definitive plans for the post-Smith era.
But on Tuesday, the first day of Chiefs’ organized team activities, Smith sought to clarify his previous remarks.
“What I felt like I said is, this is my 13th year, we’re opening with New England, right now we’re in the middle of OTAs, right now I’m worried about beating our defense.
“In the back of my head I’d be lying if I didn’t know the opener was there. Beyond that, I’m not thinking about Week 2, I’m not thinking about next year, I’m not guaranteed beyond that. I’ve been playing long enough to know that. This is a year-to-year deal, regardless of draft picks behind me or free agency.
“That’s the deal. You have to go out and prove it every week, every year. If you don’t they’re going to find somebody who can. That’s the nature of the business. That’s what I felt like I tried to say, not that my days were numbered or anything like that. It’s no different than my mentality when I first got here.”
Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said there’s no doubt about Smith’s leadership of the team.
“I’ve had a chance to play catch with (Mahomes) a little bit and everybody knows he has a big arm,” Maclin said. “But also everybody knows this is Alex’s team, and I think it’s going to benefit him learning from Alex and how Alex approaches things. It’s a win-win situation. He has a bright future, but we’re riding Alex and I’m looking for him and I getting back to what we used to do.”