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Wednesday open thread: What if the Lions had traded for Alex Smith?

Imagine, if you will, this horrible episode of The Twilight Zone.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Last offseason, the Detroit Lions faced a similar conundrum to Washington. Both Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins had deals that would expire after the end of the 2017 season. Both quarterbacks were entering the prime of their careers, Stafford was 29, Cousins would turn 29 just before the season started.

The Lions had significantly more leverage, as Washington had already used the franchise tag on Cousins twice, meaning a third use of the tag would cost Washington upwards of $34 million. Still, each team had a choice: make a long-term deal before the 2017 season or face the risk of your franchise quarterback hitting free agency in 2018.

The Lions handed Stafford the richest contract in NFL history. Washington took their chances.

And on late Tuesday night, Washington made their move. They have reportedly agreed to trade for Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith for the price of a third-round pick and starting cornerback Kendall Fuller. If you think this is Washington hitting the reset button and using Smith as a stopgap passer while they develop a young quarterback, think again. Because according to Adam Schefter, they’ve already agreed to give Smith a four-year extension, and it’s not a cheap one:

So to recap, Washington is letting Kirk Cousins hit free agency, so that they can hand Alex Smith a pretty significant four-year contract, while giving away a third-round draft pick and one of their best defensive players from 2017.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

How would you be feeling if the Lions did that?

In other words, how would you feel if the Lions decided not to give Stafford a big extension last offseason. Instead, they sent Quandre Diggs and a third-round pick to Kansas City for a soon-to-be 34-year-old Alex Smith?

My answer: Furious. This trade makes no sense to me and the more I think about it, the further away I get from understanding it. Why would you refuse to pay your promising quarterback in the prime of his career and then turn around and essentially give an aging quarterback a slightly lesser deal?

Alex Smith is a good quarterback, and he’s drastically underrated by the general football public, but even so, I don’t think he’s significantly better (or worse) than Kirk Cousins, and I’m fairly confident he’s not better than Matthew Stafford.

If the Lions pulled a move like this, fans would understandably take to the streets.

There were some fans that were against handing Stafford a huge deal, but I have to imagine this scenario would be much, much worse even to those fans. You may disagree with giving Stafford $27 million a year, but how do you then justify giving Alex Smith $23.5 million per year, especially after you just traded some big assets away to get him?

What I’m trying to say is be thankful the Lions did what they did. When Cousins and Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers sign their new deals in 2018, $27 million per year isn’t going to sound too bad.

Your turn.


On a scale of 1-10, how mad would you have been if the Lions had decided to trade for Alex Smith?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    (623 votes)
  • 10%
    (84 votes)
  • 8%
    (66 votes)
  • 1%
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    0 - I’m the founder of the Alex Smith fan club
    (7 votes)
822 votes total Vote Now

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