Alex Smith is gone from the Browns’ wish list.
The Chiefs agreed to trade the veteran quarterback to Washington, the Kansas City Star reported Tuesday night. The deal can’t be finalized until the start of the league year in March.
The Browns had been linked to Smith because they want a veteran passer and general manager John Dorsey had traded for Smith in his first major move as Chiefs GM in 2013.
The Chiefs will receive a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller, ESPN reported.
The Browns have 12 picks in the upcoming draft, including five in the first two rounds.
The biggest fallout from the trade is that Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will hit the free agent market. Washington used the franchise tag to keep him the last two seasons but has turned to Smith, who reportedly will sign a contract extension.
Cousins is expected to command at least $26 million a year on a long-term deal. The Browns likely are interested and should have approximately $100 million in salary cap space, but they’re coming off only the second 0-16 season in NFL history and are 1-31 in two years under coach Hue Jackson.
Cousins, 29, told New York radio station WFAN on Tuesday he wants to go to a winner.
“Winning is everything, especially at this stage of my career,” he said. “I’m going into Year 7. Because I’ve been franchise-tagged twice, it’s not about the money so much. It’s about winning. I want to win.
“This isn’t the NBA. You can’t just get one player and now you’re in the AFC championship game or NFC championship game. There are other pieces that come into play.”
Cousins, a fourth-round pick in 2012, has started the last three years, going 24-23-1. He’s a career 65.5 percent passer with 99 touchdowns, 55 interceptions and a 93.7 rating.
Washington went 7-9 this year, and Cousins completed 64.3 percent with 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 93.9 rating.
The Browns are desperate to add a veteran quarterback after going winless with rookie DeShone Kizer and second-year guys Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler. None of the three has won an NFL game.
“Do we want to be in that situation again? No, we don’t,” Jackson told reporters last week at the Senior Bowl. “You need to have a quarterback that knows how to win in the National Football League, but circumstances sometimes dictate otherwise. You just don’t know how things will unfold, but if we had the best of all of the worlds, we would want a guy in there who has won in the National Football League and knows what that looks like and what that position has to play like to have that.”
If the Browns were able to land Cousins, they almost certainly wouldn’t use the Nos. 1 or 4 picks in the draft on a quarterback. Any other veteran signed or traded for in free agency would likely be paired with the No. 1 pick.
USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield are candidates to be chosen No. 1.
Smith seemed less than enthused about the possibility of joining the Browns when asked about it Tuesday on the “Dan Patrick Show.”
“I haven’t even thought about that,” he said with a laugh.
“I mean they’ve got nowhere to go but up,” Smith said. “One-and-31 over the last two years just sounds amazing.”
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