“I’m jacked. I’m really excited. Once I found out that things in Kansas City were going in a different direction, I was pumped at the opportunity, and when Washington came calling I was hopeful that that was a possible destination, and I’m just jacked that it worked out. They wanted me because the feeling was mutual, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The Chiefs agreed to trade Smith, 33, to Washington in exchange for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller. Smith then agreed to a four-year extension worth up to $94 million.
Now, he’ll be reunited with a former San Francisco 49ers teammate in Redskins tight end Vernon Davis. According to Smith, “he was one of the first guys when it broke that hit me up on the phone.”
Smith spent seven seasons with the 49ers. During his 2012 campaign, he suffered a concussion in Week 9 and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. Though he later was medically cleared, Smith never won back his job, and Kaepernick helped lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl, in which the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31. After the season, the Niners traded him to the Chiefs in exchange for multiple draft picks.
Kansas City made the playoffs in four of Smith’s five seasons as the starter, but it was clear that Smith’s future with the Chiefs was limited when the organization traded up to select Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 draft. And now, the veteran quarterback is on his third NFL team and approaching the tail end of his playing career.
“I feel amazing,” said Smith, who turns 34 in May. “I feel great. I feel like the last five, six years have flown by. I’ve had more fun than I’ve ever had playing the game.
“ . . . My body feels great, so yeah. I feel like I can’t see the horizon at this point. People keep asking me that, and I don’t see it in the near future. Obviously things change, but I’m just loving what I’m doing too much, the challenge of it. I still haven’t gotten there obviously, and you’re after that big one, right? You’re trying to do whatever you can and try to figure it out and find the answer.”
The Redskins are hoping Smith, who has made the postseason each of the past three seasons and has been on a team with a winning record every year since 2011, can help them get over the playoff hump. Washington reached the postseason with quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2015 but went 8-7-1 and 7-9 the past two years. The Redskins had the option of working out a long-term deal with Cousins, a fourth-round pick of theirs in 2012, or using the franchise tag on him for a third straight time. Instead, the organization chose to invest in a partnership with Smith. The Redskins could try to tag and trade Cousins within the next month, but it’s a risky proposition for several reasons.
Either way, the Redskins have their guy and Smith has a new home.