Alex Smith willing to wait for deal

— -- Alex Smith is willing to be patient in contract talks with the Kansas City Chiefs. He also evidently feels that he's just as valuable as some of the NFL's highly paid quarterbacks.

Smith discussed his future with the Chiefs and the nature of his contract talks Thursday during an interview with the Kansas City Star.

Although he claimed that there was "still plenty of time" to reach a deal, Smith also told the Star that he is aware of the recent deals signed by some other quarterbacks around the league.

"Certainly when you're talking about comparables and what the marketplace is for a quarterback, certainly you're looking at that," Smith told the paper. "And I feel like my body of work of the last three, four years is right up there with a lot of those guys. No question, when you're trying to put a value on something like that, you look at a lot of stuff."

Smith, 30, is scheduled to make $7.5 million this season -- the final year of his current contract with the Chiefs.

Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford all recently have signed long-term contracts -- deals worth approximately $17 million to $18 million annually.

Smith helped lead the Chiefs to the playoffs last season after passing for 3,313 yards and 23 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. The former No. 1 overall draft pick has posted a 30-9-1 record in games he has started dating back to the 2011 season, when he helped the San Francisco 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game.

The Chiefs currently have about $10 million in available salary-cap space and will also face a financial decision regarding Pro Bowl pass-rusher Justin Houston, another potential free agent next winter.

Smith told the Star that he would be willing to wait until next offseason to strike a deal with Kansas City.

"I'd love to have it done," Smith said. "I love Kansas City, I love the coaching staff, the players. ... But when you're talking about this many years and that type of deal, you want it done right. You want both sides happy, and you want it to be something that is going to last and you can play out. A lot of things go into it.

"With that, there's still plenty of time. I still have a whole year left. And who knows what will happen?"

Chiefs players are scheduled to report to training camp by next Wednesday, and Smith insists he will be focused on football rather than worrying about his contract.

"When I talk to management, we talk about that, and that's great, and then flush it, and we focus on football and doing what we have to do to help us win," Smith said.