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Why Andy Reid said Patrick Mahomes couldn’t pay Alex Smith enough for the former Ute’s lesson in NFL life

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrate their win against the Miami Dolphins in an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017.
Reed Hoffmann, AP

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid paid Alex Smith high praise Tuesday.

The moment arose when Reid was asked about the relationship between his former quarterback and the Chiefs’ reigning NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes, who’s helped lead Kansas City to Super Bowl LIV, where they’ll face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for NFL supremacy.

Back in 2017, Smith was Kansas City’s starting quarterback with a decade-plus of NFL experience under his belt, leading a Chiefs franchise that’s become postseason regulars.

That spring, though, the dynamic in Kansas City changed when the Chiefs moved up to select Mahomes with the 10th overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft.

“He wasn’t asked to do this, but he let Patrick into his world, and Patrick handled it the right way,” Reid said of Smith’s acceptance of the situation. “He was humble around Alex and didn’t try to overstep his bounds with Alex but yet competed.”

Smith was the team’s starting quarterback that year, but questions of when Mahomes might take over lingered even as the former Ute filled a mentorship role.

“Alex kind of let him tag along with him on the field and off the field, showed him how to be a pro — how you study, diet, your workout plan, how you work your family into the National Football League and be a great football player,” Reid said.

With a year of experience learning under Smith, Mahomes became the future in Kansas City and Smith was traded to Washington during the 2018 offseason.

Smith handled the situation with grace, Reid said, and it’s something that paid off handsomely for the 24-year-old Mahomes, one of the game’s brightest young stars.

“I joke about it, but it’s true: Patrick couldn’t pay Alex enough for what he gave him with that experience,” Reid said.