Dorsey will soon be looking for a quarterback in his new job as general manager of the Cleveland Browns. Smith will soon be available, assuming the Chiefs clear the way after the season for Patrick Mahomes II to be their starting quarterback in 2018.
It makes a lot of sense for history to repeat itself in this instance.
The Browns have 12 picks in next year’s draft, including two in the first round and three in the second, so they could spare one or two for a veteran quarterback capable of stabilizing a position that has been a disaster in Cleveland.
The Browns likely will have the first pick in the draft. Dorsey won’t pass on a quarterback prospect he likes, so Smith would have some company, as he currently does in Kansas City with Mahomes.
But having Smith would give the Browns the luxury of giving that top pick a redshirt season, as the Chiefs are doing with Mahomes this year. Cleveland’s young quarterback could then take over as the starter in 2019, when Smith’s contract expires.
Dorsey is taking over a situation not unlike the one he inherited in Kansas City. The Chiefs were coming off a 2-14 season and had the first pick in the draft.
No quarterback was worthy of that pick, so the Chiefs used it instead on a lineman, tackle Eric Fisher. But the Chiefs needed a quarterback to improve the most important position, one the franchise had long neglected.
Smith, in hindsight, was worth the two second-round draft picks the Chiefs sent to the San Francisco 49ers in trade. He has been spectacular at times this year, and otherwise a solid, steady player in his five seasons with Kansas City.
He led the Chiefs to the playoffs as a wild-card entrant in his first season in Kansas City and then to the postseason in two of the past three seasons, including as AFC West champions last year.
Smith’s role in Cleveland would be a different one. He wouldn’t be viewed as a long-term solution, as he was in Kansas City. He would be someone capable of providing for the short term some reliable quarterback play, something the Browns haven’t had for some time.
The Browns could do a lot worse at quarterback in their first season under a new general manager, and Dorsey is smart enough to know it.