Chiefs CEO didn't want to trade Alex Smith to Broncos


When John Elway set his mind on upgrading the Broncos' quarterback situation in 2018, Alex Smith seemed to be in play as a potential trade target.

While the Browns and Cardinals lost out to the Redskins for Smith's services, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week, we now have reason to believe that Denver was never a realistic landing spot.

Speaking with Mike Klis of KUSA in Denver last Saturday, Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt strongly implied that his organization was unwilling to consider bolstering a division rival.

"I think it's pretty typical in the NFL not to seek trades within the division," Hunt explained. "That's pretty standard fare particularly when we're talking about a high-profile player."

There are several schools of thought on that issue.

After Tom Brady led the Patriots to the first of their eight Super Bowl appearances this century, Bill Belichick traded established franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe within the division, collecting a first-round pick from Buffalo.

An executive with the Bengals going back to their 1968 inception, owner Mike Brown has touched on the league tradition of a "premium" price tag applied to inter-division trades.

Then there's the majority opinion held by Clark and others that it's simply taboo to diminish one's own odds by helping out a direct competitor for the division crown.

As with most NFL ideas, though, that position is fluid, depending on the specific player(s) involved, the relative strength of the rival's roster and the possibility of an escalating price tag.

In this case, it seems likely that Clark's football brain trust understands the reality that the Broncos might be a mere quarterback away from knocking the Chiefs off their perch and regaining control of the AFC West.

Even with Smith out of the picture, Elway has a prime opportunity to turn his franchise around via an aggressive push in the impending Kirk Cousins sweepstakes.