Arizona Cardinals could be Alex Smith’s landing spot

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Steve Keim
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Steve Keim /

The Arizona Cardinals could have interest in the veteran quarterback if the report that he may be traded turns out to be true

The talk about who will be the next starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals is underway. Carson Palmer’s retirement has set the wheels in motion. Every avenue must be explored to insure that the best possible option makes his way to the desert.

A name has popped up that may pique the interest of the Cardinals’ front office. In fact, it’s the name of someone that general manager Steve Keim had reportedly inquired about back in 2013.

Alex Smith, despite the fact that he’s coming off of an outstanding performance in 2017, could possibly be available in the offseason. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Kansas City Chiefs could entertain offers for the veteran. If the rumors are true, it would make sense for Keim to have interest in Smith’s services once again.

The Chiefs’ apparent willingness to deal the first-overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft is a bit of a head-scratcher. The 33-year old’s statistics this past season may have been the best of his 13-year career. Smith completed 67.5% of his passes for 4,042 yards and 26 touchdowns, the most scoring throws he’s ever registered.

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Besides the glowing numbers, Kansas City’s starter of the past five campaigns has led them to two consecutive AFC West titles. Signal-callers with that type of success aren’t usually trade-bait. A closer look at the situation, however, reveals why the Chiefs may be considering such a move.

For one, Kansas City moved up during the first round of last April’s draft to select a passer. Patrick Mahomes, a 6’3″, 230 pounder out of Texas Tech University, was their target. Ironically, according to many draftniks, the Chiefs made the deal to move up in order to beat Arizona to the cannon-armed Mahomes.

Another factor for a possible trade of Smith is the salary cap. By ridding themselves of the former San Francisco 49er, Kansas City would stand to gain a whopping $17 million in cap space. Smith has one year left on his current deal, which carries a $20.6 million cap hit for 2018.

On the field, Smith has never been considered an overly-prolific quarterback, but more of a game-manager type. But with the way that the Cards’ current roster is constructed, a game-manager might be a good fit. With an offense that can center around stud running back David Johnson and an excellent defense to boot, Smith may be exactly what the franchise needs.

While the Cardinals could have the money to pay the 6’4″, 217 pounder, compensation may be a potential roadblock. Though the Chiefs may be willing to part ways with their offensive leader, they most likely won’t be looking to give him away. Their management could ask for alot in return for Smith, who’s certainly a quality player.

It’s an intriguing scenario for Arizona. Acquiring someone of Smith’s caliber could have them contending in 2018 and beyond. With the unknowns surrounding the organization at the moment, could Cards’ fans ask for anything more than that?