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Is Alex Smith better than a 'mid-tier' quarterback?

The Cincinnati Bengals signed Andy Dalton to a new contract that competitively compensates the quarterback while giving the team an out if Dalton stagnates.

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It's a contract that shares DNA with the team-friendly deal Colin Kaepernick received this summer from the San Francisco 49ers. Has a precedent been set for how the majority of quarterbacks will be compensated going forward?

Alex Smith and his representatives can't be enamored with the shifting market. Smith's contract with the Kansas City Chiefs is up after the season, and he'll be looking to cash in. One veteran pro scouting director told NFL Media's Albert Breer that Smith may want to temper expectations, though.

"The reality is, he's not a franchise quarterback," the scout said. "His perception is, San Francisco won with him, Kansas City won with him. So he may see himself as a franchise quarterback. The timing for him in K.C., he was the right fit, but Andy (Reid) can find a more talented quarterback.

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"He'd be a mid-tier guy on the market. I'm not sure anyone would invest $100 million in him. He's more a stop-gap guy who can be a good teacher for a young guy, and can be in the lineup until (that) young guy is ready."

Smith has proven -- to us, anyway -- that he's more than a "mid-tier guy." If you disagree, please seek out game tape of the Chiefs' 45-44 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last January. Smith has shown he can carry an offense, not just manage it.

Will that be enough to land Dalton-type money?

The latest Around The League Podcast makes sense of Andy Dalton's new contract and takes a look at the Giants' evolving backfield.

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