The 2018 NFL season came early during Super Bowl week as the Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to trade Pro-Bowl quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in return for a 2018 second round draft pick, a third-round draft pick, and cornerback Kendall Fuller.
The Redskins then signed Smith to a four year $94 million dollar contract extension all but ending current starting quarterback Kirk Cousins’ time in Washington. The return for Smith and amount of money that Washington gave him is a testament to just how influential current Bears head coach Matt Nagy was.
Nagy was Smith’s quarterback coach for his entire career in Kansas City and his offensive coordinator for 5 games this past season. Smith was the first overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. During his eight years there, inconsistency and constant coaching changes affected his ability to be truly successful. Following being replaced by Colin Kaepernick as the starter in 2012, he found a new home in Kansas City with head coach Andy Reid and a quarterbacks coach in Nagy.
From 2013 on, Smith has been one of the NFL’s best and most efficient quarterbacks over that span. He has been named to three Pro-Bowls with the last two coming in the past two seasons.
During his chiefs tenure, Smith averaged 20 touchdown passes and six interceptions over the five years spent with the Chiefs. In 2017, he set a career in touchdown passes with 26 while also tying a career low in interceptions.
The demand for Smith was high because several other teams other than Washington were attempting to trade for him.
His value was at its highest due to the guidance of Nagy who provided him a constant mentor as a quarterbacks coach. Nagy’s ability to coach up Smith’s consistent play was one of the main reasons as to why the Bears thought so highly of him during their head coaching search.
General manager Ryan Pace’s goal is to have quarterback Mitchell Trubisky achieve the same level of success that Smith had in Kansas City.
Trades before the new league year starts very rarely happen as teams usually wait until after the Super Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine to develop a direction for trades and free agency.
The timing of the Smith trade adds more to the coaching success of Nagy as it appears many NFL teams couldn’t wait to trade with the Chiefs for their Pro-Bowl quarterback.
If Nagy is able to have the same success with Bears, it won’t be demonstrated through signing or trades, but by awards and trophies obtained by Trubisky.