Browns could have interest in trading for Alex Smith
The Cleveland Browns are widely expected to select a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, but we all saw where starting a rookie under center got them this season. Whether they stick with DeShone Kizer or draft a player like Josh Rosen, the Browns need to add a veteran QB to the mix.
Sorry, Alex Smith.
As Pat McManamon of ESPN.com noted this week, the Browns may make the most sense for Smith if and when the Kansas City Chiefs decide to trade the 33-year-old veteran. John Dorsey, who was the general manager of the Chiefs when they acquired Smith in 2013, is now in charge of football operations in Cleveland. The Browns also have an absurd amount of salary cap space, so they could take on Smith’s $20.9 million hit for 2018 and still have plenty of money to address other needs.
In addition to the Dorsey connection, Smith also meets several of the criteria Hue Jackson looks for in a quarterback. He hardly ever turns the ball over and is the only quarterback in NFL history with more than 3,000 passing yards and 10 or fewer interceptions in five straight seasons. This season, the best of his career, Smith threw for 4,042 yards, 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He completed 67.5 percent of his passes and has converted on 62.4 percent for his career. McManamon notes that Jackson likes QBs who complete at least 60 percent.
Of course, Smith may resist being traded to a team that just went 0-16. He never had a losing season in Kansas City and made the playoffs in four of his five years with the team, so playing for the Browns would require a massive adjustment. If a team like the Arizona Cardinals expresses interest in Smith now that Carson Palmer has retired, he may try to push for a trade there instead.
The Chiefs traded up in the draft last year to get Patrick Mahomes, so they are likely going to turn things over to him this offseason. Head coach Andy Reid is once again being criticized for the way his team’s season ended, and he may decide the Chiefs have gone as far as they can with Smith.