Alex Smith trade rumors: 5 best destinations

By Matt Verderame

The Kansas City Chiefs are going to trade quarterback Alex Smith before the start fo the free agency tampering period on March 12.

Smith, 33, is fresh off a career year that resulted in his second Pro Bowl berth, made official with Philip Rivers bowing out. Still, Smith should have been named to the game originally, throwing for more than 4,000 yards in 15 games to go with 25 touchdowns against six interceptions.

However, the Chiefs have first-round pick Patrick Mahomes waiting in the wings. Mahomes got his first career start in Week 17 against the Denver Broncos and looked like the future, throwing for 284 yards in a 27-24 win.

With only one year remaining on his contract, Smith is going to be dealt, allowing Kansas City to start Mahomes all while gaining draft picks and $17 million in cap space. So what teams could be in the running? Here are five that should be bidding on his services.

5. Denver Broncos

Denver needs a quarterback upgrade in the worst way, but it will have to pay through the proverbial nose to get Smith. The Broncos have no choice but to have the best offer by a long shot to land him, considering they play in the same division as Kansas City.

General manager John Elway has some high draft choices, and he might have to part with at least two mid-round picks to get the job done.

4. New York Jets

With Josh McCown set to hit free agency in March, the Jets are in the market for another quarterback. One would imagine that New York is looking for a long-term answer in the draft, but adding Smith would buy general manager Mike Maccagnan some time.

3. Arizona Cardinals

Following the retirement of Carson Palmer, the Cardinals are left without a single quarterback on their roster. Smith would be a nice way to bridge the gap for Arizona until its finds its future, something it will undoubtedly try to do in the draft come April.

Still, the Cardinals would do well to trade a pick or two for Smith, giving them instant credibility and a building block toward respectability.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars would love to get their hands on Smith. The question is whether the Chiefs would be willing to deal him to Jacksonville. Considering how good the defense is, along with the running of Leonard Fournette, a competent quarterback could give the Jaguars a terrific combination.

Would Kansas City be alright with giving Jacksonville that kind of upgrade over Blake Bortles? The Jaguars might have to overwhelm the Chiefs with an offer.

1. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland absolutely has to be in this conversation. The Browns hired general manager John Dorsey during their 0-16 campaign, allowing Kansas City’s former GM to oversee their rebuild. Just like he did with the Chiefs, expect Dorsey to try for Smith again, maybe even for the same price as he paid in 2013 — two second-round picks.

Cleveland has the ammunition, holding three second-round choices including its own along with the selections of the Houston Texans, and the Philadelphia Eagles.