- Rapoport adds that this is why Chiefs debated the idea of possibly drafting quarterback early on.
According to Rapoport, a deal is unlikely to be in place before training camp and the Chiefs are willing to franchise him in 2015 if talks continue to stall.
Smith is reportedly “pushing to be paid like a top-tier quarterback” mainly because there is no second-tier market at this position.
Franchising Smith would be pretty expensive as the 2014 tag was set at $16.912 million. However, it’s only for a single year, so Kansas City could always move on in 2016 depending on how things go.
Every indication is that the Chiefs are approaching this situation with a great deal of caution. Last year, they paid a decent amount of money to lure Chase Daniel away from New Orleans and a few weeks ago, they draft Georgia QB Aaron Murray.
Smith, 30, is entering the final year of his current deal and will make $7.5 million for the 2014 season. He counts just as much against the Chiefs salary cap, so a long-term deal would offer them some cap relief.
In his first season with the Chiefs, Smith led them to playoffs and played great in their first-round matchup against the Colts before an incredible turnaround from Indy. Smith also set career highs in passing yards with 3,313, rushing yards (431) and touchdowns (23) while only throwing seven interceptions.