Alex Smith traded to Redskins, changes Browns potential QB list

Kirk Cousins of the Redskins looks to pass

The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that the Kansas City Chiefs sent veteran quarterback Alex Smith to the Redskins in exchange for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Smith set career-highs in passing yards (4,042) and yards per attempt (8.0) this year, while maintaining his typical efficiency (67.5 percent completion rate, five interceptions in 505 attempts).

The reality is we won't be able to fairly assess this trade for Washington until we see how they perform with Smith as their quarterback. He showed plenty of moxie and a strong arm in Week 17's comeback win over the Denver Broncos and now the task to lead this team is on his shoulders. At one point during the 2017 season, Smith was included in league MVP discussions - until the Chiefs faded. It's obviously a gamble for the Chiefs to bet the house on 2017 first-round pick Patrick Mahomes, but after losing in the first round of the playoffs amid a career year from Smith, they have an accurate picture of the true ceiling they'd have with Smith under center.

Foles labeled Smith as a player who "can turn a locker room around", calling him "one of the most athletic guys" in the NFL. Now Cousins will be the most attractive free-agent quarterback, and he will hit the market at the optimal time to make the maximum money.

Kansas City has traded quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, according to multiple reports Tuesday night.

Until that happens, the West is up for grabs. For instance, if the Broncos sign Cousins then the Jets may no longer need to trade up to get the one they desire with only 2 quarterback-needy teams ahead of them. The Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins, 29, after both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Washington will own 13th-overall spot in April's draft. With Smith playing for Washington in the NFC, the Chiefs won't even play against him in the regular season until 2021.

With the right team, Cousins might have such a playoff run. He has at least a five-year window (probably closer to seven years) of quality play.

So, while one less team is involved, there could be as many as six - if not more - when it comes to the services of Cousins, including; Denver, Buffalo, both NY teams, Jacksonville, Cleveland and more.

So, the Chiefs likely made the decision to trade Smith months ago, and then it became a matter of maximizing their return this offseason.

The other scenario involves the Colts' ability to trade back in the draft if they desire to do so. The franchise tag price could be prohibitive, but the transition tag price is more manageable and the Redskins may be more apt to work out a trade with another team versus letting Cousins go and recouping a third round compensatory pick in 2019.

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