Browns' run at Alex Smith ends in predictable failure

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Longtime NFL quarterback Alex Smith will be playing in a new team's uniform next season, as he has been traded to the Washington Redskins form the Kansas City Chiefs. 2016 first-round draft pick Patrick Mahomes reportedly impressed the coaching staff during his rookie campaign and he will now get his chance to become the long term starter under centre at Arrowhead in 2018.

Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs calls out the play on November 19, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Kansas City has agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, a move that spells the end of Kirk Cousins' time with the Redskins and hands the Chiefs' job to Whitehouse alum and former Texas Tech star Patrick Mahomes.

Initial reports stated the Redskins acquired Smith for a third round pick and a player to be named later.

There was interest in Smith in Cleveland, but what happened isn't completely clear. Where the elite quarterbacks separate - see Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees - is the fact that they're much less dependent than QBs even in the higher middle tier, boosting their teams more than their teams boost them. Jimmy Garoppolo proved in San Francisco exactly what kind of a difference a quarterback can make.

The Browns were apparently one of six teams to discuss Smith with Kansas City. Smith had not only set career marks statistically in the last few months but had established himself as a victor in the tune of 50 regular season wins in 5 seasons. "No", Cousins said on PFT Live, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. Now Cousins will be the most attractive free-agent quarterback, and he will hit the market at the optimal time to make the maximum money.

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The one, and possibly lone, advantage that the Browns have over every other team is that they can offer a bigger contract than anyone else to Cousins. Among those discussed are Denver, Buffalo, the Jets, Arizona and Minnesota.

Johnson led the Redskins to a 10-6 record, the NFC East championship, and had the team within a field goal attempt gone awry of the NFC championship game.

It will be easier for Cousins to cut down on turnovers in Minnesota because he won't get stuck passing too often situationally, as he'll have better offensive balance and defensive support.

Where does that leave the Browns? Bottom line, Dorsey has options, so this isn't a scenario where Cousins could shake down the Browns for every last penny.

McCarron's free-agent status between restricted and unrestricted will be determined after a grievance hearing February 15. Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford are all coming out of contract. He threw 16 touchdowns to only five interceptions.