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Alex Smith knows the Chiefs are replacing him

The writing is on the wall for the Kansas City quarterback. He’s been through this before.

When the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to No. 10 to select Pat Mahomes II in the 2017 draft, it felt familiar to Alex Smith. It was clear the Chiefs were preparing to move on from Smith, much like the 49ers did with Colin Kaepernick back in 2012.

"There is a little similarity,'' Smith said while speaking at a community event on Wednesday. "I'm an older quarterback, and they drafted a kid that's coming in young and they're looking to develop.''

During the 2012 season, Smith was benched in San Francisco by then-coach Jim Harbaugh in favor of Kaepernick, who went on to lead the team to the Super Bowl. After the season, the 49ers traded Smith to the Chiefs, where he hasn’t put up eye-popping stats, but has been quietly reliable and consistent.

Smith, 33, has two seasons left on his contract with the Chiefs, 2017 and 2018, and a cap hit of $20.6 million in 2018. Smith doesn’t think he’s a part of Kansas City’s plans beyond the 2017 season.

"I think [the Chiefs are] committed to me [only] through this year,'' Smith said, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. "That's just the nature of it. If you don't go out there and perform, I mean, coach [Andy] Reid and [quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy] are very honest. You've got to go out there and do your deal. We all have to.”

That won’t keep Smith from being a professional about it. He reached out to Mahomes after he was drafted.

“For me, I just wanted to introduce myself and that was really it,” Smith said. “Let him take it in. It’s a special time to get drafted and have his family there. For me I wanted to tell him to enjoy it and I just wanted to introduce myself and tell him we would have plenty of time to get to know each other.”

And while there are echoes of his departure from San Francisco in this situation, Smith says it’s not exactly the same.

Andy Reid and Chiefs general manager John Dorsey are the ones who brought Smith in back in 2013. They wanted him then, and both are still in the same roles with Kansas City. And Smith recognizes that his age has to be a factor in their decision.

"I'm at a different place than the last time I dealt with something like this," Smith said. "I get it. If any of us were the GMs, this is maybe the most important position in all of sports, and it would be crazy not to be stockpiling talent. You'd be nuts not to.”

Smith is going into his 13th season in the league, and his fifth with the Chiefs. He has never thrown more than eight interceptions in any season of his Kansas City tenure and has led the Chiefs to the postseason in three of those seasons.