New Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smithpublished a letter on The Players’ Tribune Tuesday titled “Thank you, Kansas City,” addressing Chiefs fans in a style becoming more common by the day among pro athletes who change teams.
Smith, whose trade from the Chiefs to the Redskins becomes official Wednesday, opens the letter by admitting he knew his days in Kansas City were numbered when the Chiefs traded up in last year’s draft to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“With everything I’ve experienced so far in my career, I probably understand the ‘business’ of football as well as anyone,” Smith wrote. “And trading up to take a quarterback in the draft isn’t exactly a subtle move as to the future of a franchise. It was pretty obvious what that meant for me. But I still had a job to do.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid told Smith during Super Bowl week that the team had begun the process of seeking a trade partner for him.
“There were several teams interested and a lot of different scenarios, but everything pointed to Washington being the team,” Smith said.
Smith added that while it was tough to say goodbye to the team he played for the past five years, he “could not be more excited about this new opportunity in Washington — joining a team with a rich tradition, a great fan base, and a talented roster and coaching staff that I have admired from afar.”
Most of the letter focuses on the Chiefs and his relationship with Kansas City, but he nods toward his future with the Redskins in the letter’s conclusion:
So thank you, Kansas City. You will forever be a huge part of who I am as a quarterback and as a man.
Let’s build something great together.
With Kirk Cousins out the door in free agency, this marks the start of the Smith era in Washington. The quarterback started his career playing seven seasons in San Francisco and has guided his teams to the postseason five times, with a 2-5 record in playoff games.
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