Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas Ciy Chiefs

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- News of quarterback Andy Dalton's contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals broke during Kansas City Chiefs training camp practice on Monday and it traveled fast. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, looking for a similar extension, was briefed on the Dalton news, if not the details, shortly after practice concluded.

"I just found out walking off the field just to give me a heads up because I would probably be asked about it," Smith said. "I’ve got nothing for you now. I don’t know anything about it. I’m focused out here on camp, getting better. We’ve got a game on Thursday and it happens to be against [the Bengals]."

That’s a small-world story, much like the world of starting quarterback contracts. One has an impact on the next, and Dalton’s deal will have its effect on Smith’s. So will contract extensions recently signed by Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers.

Dalton’s contract is reportedly worth $115 million over six years with incentives. That number is in line with what Cutler and Kaepernick received.

The market is being set, whether the Chiefs agree with it or not. This is the cost of doing business now in the NFL’s quarterback world.

This is where the Chiefs will likely have to go if they want to extend the contract of Smith, who is in the final season of his existing deal. Dalton’s deal is the going rate for a quarterback, and Smith is entirely in line if he uses it as a starting point for his asking price.

It won’t necessarily hurt the Chiefs to wait on a new contract for Smith. He won’t necessarily be any more expensive in March, when his contract expires, than he is now.

But whether the Chiefs wait until then or not, they’d better be prepared to pay Smith at least the way the Bengals did Dalton.
General manager John Dorsey denied Friday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that the Kansas City Chiefs have determined they will not re-sign left tackle Branden Albert, as recently reported by a Kansas City radio station.

"That’s the first I’ve heard about it," Dorsey said. "We have ongoing conversations with all of our unrestricted free agents. It just so happens we’ve had conversations with Brandon’s representatives, and that’s the beauty of the combine. Those guys are here. We will continue to have conversations with those representatives as the combine passes."

Tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's NFL draft and a starter as a rookie opposite Albert, is widely expected to replace Albert as the Chiefs' left tackle in 2014. Said Dorsey of Fisher: “Right now, he’s our right tackle."

That said, don't look for Albert to return to the Chiefs next season. The Chiefs and Albert were nowhere close to an agreement on a long-term contract last year, and that prospect appears unlikely this year unless one side has a dramatic change of position.

The Chiefs retained Albert as their franchise player last year, and that option exists again this year. But Dorsey indicated it was unlikely the Chiefs would have a franchise player in 2014.

Fisher had an uneven rookie season. He looked lost to begin the year, but finished a bit better. A year in the Chiefs' weight program should help Fisher improve immensely. At any rate, as Dorsey continued to talk about Fisher, he sure didn't sound like he was speaking about a player who will continue to play right tackle.

“The one thing I’m proud about Eric is that he made great strides as the season went along," Dorsey said. "You could see a great degree of comfort with him in the second half of the season.

"I’ve always said that between the first and second year, that’s when those guys make their greatest strides. I expect great things from Eric in his second year."