Q: Now that it’s over, how important was it for you to get your contract done before things start for real here?
SMITH: “I was really hoping that it would get done before. I didn’t want to go into the regular season with that. As much as you don’t think about those types of things, subconsciously you can’t help it, they sit in the back of your head and you’re thinking ‘Oh, I’m playing for a contract,’ and this and that. Sometimes it can just be an added distraction. I certainly was hoping and I’m really happy that it did get done.”
Q: Were you close to cutting the contract talks off?
SMITH: “I wasn’t sure. It had progressed there this last week. I felt like it was headed in a really good direction and I thankfully didn’t have to think about that.”
Q: You’ve made money in your career, how much of this contract was just about respect in comparison to your peers?
SMITH: “For me, it was about something fair both ways. As a quarterback, you certainly don’t want to hamstring your team in any way because – I know this more than anyone – you rely so heavily on those playmakers around you. You certainly don’t want to do anything like that, but at the same time, you do want something that’s fair. It’s tough, trying to find out what that is. Everybody is different. You look at the market and quarterbacks and this and that, but everybody is different, every situation is different. There is a lot that goes into it and I think that’s why it did take a little while, but hopefully we got it right.”
Q: As a quarterback, do you know what the guaranteed money for guys around the league is?
SMITH: “The funny thing is, you hear all these reports and things here and there and all of that stuff is confidential anyway. You don’t know what’s true and what’s not to be totally honest with you. So, no, you hear the rumors here and there but you have no idea what the actual language is within a contract.”
Q: Were the guys busting your chops a little bit?
SMITH: “Oh yeah. That’s part of the deal, you better be ready to wear it when you walk in – the whole team.”
Q: A few weeks ago, you talked about wanting a contract where you will be here for a while. How important is this to you now that Kansas City is your home now, isn’t it?
SMITH: “It is. The funny thing is you can have five-year contracts in the NFL, but you’re ultimately always proving yourself. It’s every year and it’s every week and it’s not different. With that, it’s nice that it is a two-way street. I wanted to be here and to have that reciprocated and to put it on paper is great. I’m really happy about it, I’m pumped. Now it’s nice. Like I said, it’s gone – not that I wasn’t (getting ready for week one) – but now that kind of clutter is gone from your head and you can kind of focus in and get ready for this week one.”
Q: Your kids can go to school here?
SMITH: “Yeah, absolutely. Now as my kids are getting into school age, for sure. We love it here and we love where we’re at, no question.”
Q: Did you make it clear to your agent that you wanted it done before the season started?
SMITH: “I did, yes.”
Q: It sounded like, from what John Dorsey said that it was important for him to have it done before the season started. Was it a classic case of there was a deadline, so it got done?
SMITH: “A little brinkmanship. Right up to the deadline. It’s funny; I think that’s pretty normal, actually in contracts. Things start moving and you find middle ground. I think that’s kind of what it was all about, especially this last week.”