The Chiefs have agreed to a new four-year contract extension with quarterback Alex Smith worth $17 million a season, a person with knowledge of the situation Sunday told The Star on Sunday.
The agreement, which includes $45 million in guaranteed money, is a significant development for the Chiefs, who no longer will be faced with the possibility of losing Smith -- who they dealt two second-round picks for a little over a year ago -- to free agency.
Smith, 30, had one year left on a contract that was set to pay him $7.5 million this season. Had the two sides failed to reach an agreement before next offseason, the Chiefs could have retained his services by franchising him next offseason.
However, star outside linebacker Justin Houston is also on the last year of his contract, and with teams allowed to use the tag on only one player per offseason, the Chiefs might have been forced to choose between Smith and Houston -- a no-win proposition.
This, however, is no longer a concern. And now the Chiefs will retains the services of a quarterback who threw for a career-best 3,313 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, his first with the Chiefs.
Smith was also particularly effective down the stretch, when he threw 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions during a five-game span from mid-November to mid-December. That included a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a five-touchdown performance at Oakland.
Smith finished the season by setting playoff-game franchise records with 46 attempts, 30 completions, 378 yards and four touchdowns in last season's 45-44 first-round playoff loss at Indianapolis.
During the preseason, Smith has completed 31 of 51 passes (60.8 percent) for 286 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
But his offensive line has been in a state of upheaval, thanks in large part to the recent four-game suspension of Donald Stephenson, and the unit is still trying to mesh after losing three starters to free agency.
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