Alex Smith is set to be traded for the second time in his career despite playing at Pro Bowl levels both times. But this weekend, he said he was "pumped" for the latest move.
Perhaps it's because the quarterback's new team, the Washington Redskins, don't have a young signal-caller waiting in the wings to take his position like the 49ers (Colin Kaepernick) and Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) did. Perhaps it's the new $94 million deal he agreed to after the trade was announced. Perhaps it's the prospect of playing for noted quarterback-friendly coach Jay Gruden.
Whatever the reason, Smith sounded happy to have a new career opportunity when asked by ESPN's Michael Collins about the trade that will send him from K.C. to D.C. when the new league year begins next month.
"Yeah, I'm jacked," Smith told Collins at this weekend's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. "I'm pumped for the opportunity. A new challenge moving forward, I can't wait to get started. I know it's kind of, we're not there yet, we've got to wait for the league year to start, but I can't say how much I'm looking forward to it."
Smith was traded from San Francisco to Kansas City after the 2012 season when the Niners opted to make Kaepernick their quarterback of the future. Last month, it was revealed Smith would be traded once again, this time as the Chiefs look to give their franchise keys to Mahomes.
In Washington, there is no such QB of the future (though the Redskins do have the No. 13 overall pick in April's draft...), and Smith, at least for the foreseeable future, is finally being looked at as the face of an offense.
For Smith, that appears to be a breath of fresh air. Despite dealing with Mahomes and his huge right arm bearing down on him on the depth chart all season, Smith posted career highs in passing yards (4,042) and passing touchdowns (26). The hope in Washington, which gave up a third-round pick and up-and-coming cornerback Kendall Fuller, and is expected to walk away from Pro Bowl QB Kirk Cousins in order to make the deal, is that Smith can improve on those numbers and lead the Redskins to the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season.
"I'm excited," Smith said.