It's No Big Deal

It's No Big Deal

With OTA workouts beginning in Kansas City on Tuesday morning, the leader of the Chiefs on the field, Quarterback Alex Smith, isn't even remotely worried about his contract situation. So why is everyone else making a big deal about it?

For better or worse, contract squabbles are part of the sports landscape. When it comes to NFL quarterbacks the fever of the unknown tends to take an elevated pitch in these situations.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs and the agent for Alex Smith, the infamous Tom Condon, have been in discussions for months trying to come up with a fair deal for both sides. A deal no matter how it gets sliced, diced or discussed, includes a whole bunch of money.

In this debate, the Chiefs want to retain Smith for a price that makes fiscal sense as they continue to rebuild their roster from top to bottom for the future. After all, Smith is coming off one of his best years as a starter. He enters 2014 with a scant one year left on the contract the Chiefs inherited in the trade with the San Francisco 49ers a year ago.

General Manager, John Dorsey, has made it clear he wants to extend Smith's contract beyond this season. But Condon, the top quarterback agent in the NFL, doesn't think his client should take a hometown deal.

Hate to end the debate so quickly but that's about all there is to the story right now. How that equates into dollars probably means the two sides are a few million per year apart. In NFL contract terms, that's nothing.

When pushed on Tuesday by the local media Smith didn't care one bit about what was happening behind the scenes with his contract situation or the potential holdout with linebacker, Justin Houston.

"I'm worried about playing quarterback. To be totally honest, I've got enough on my plate and I think that's the same for everybody here," Smith said.

Instead he's more concerned about developing a rapport with his offensive mates and helping the Chiefs win games in 2014. For those that saw Smith throw the ball on Tuesday, he looked like he was a week removed from his last game in January. He was sharp, crisp and accurate throwing the rock.

This time a year ago Smith was a newbie and it took him time to develop his game in a Chiefs uniform. In fact, the first half of 2013 wasn't great but the second half he was dynamite.

Having that success in his back pocket (and not worrying about the contract stuff) can only help him lead the Chiefs offense to even better highs this season.

"You're learning to crawl last year at this time and for the guys that are back and here, obviously it's a night and day difference," Smith said.

As far as the questions about his contract, that seem to be repeated over and over again whenever he has a microphone in his face, he tries to get across what's really important right now.

"I'm worried about playing quarterback. I'm worried about coming out here and executing and competing and really getting better and I think that's everybody's mindset out here. You have to take advantage of these days. Our offseasons have steadily been cut down over the years and the OTAs with that, so it makes them that much more meaningful each and every one and every rep. For us, I think the mindset is that, just focusing on the reps. All of that other stuff, it's not even in our [minds]," he said.

When the Chiefs acquired him last off-season they didn't truly know what they were getting. Now he's entering his second off-season that happens to be his final contract year. That means a cloud of uncertainty will hang over his head that won't leave the heartland until the two sides get a deal done or stop negotiating altogether.

Either way it unfolds Smith isn't going anywhere this season. He's the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 and that's all he cares about.

Perhaps we mere football mortals should take his lead on the matter and just move on.

After all, we have the Justin Houston situation to keep us busy until next month. And from all accounts, that potentially heated negotiation might turn into a real media buzz sensation.

Do you think the Chiefs will get a deal done with Alex Smith?

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