Sometime this offseason, the Chiefs will, and should, spend a little more money than they’d like for a quarterback who’s not quite as good as they’d like.

When it happens, you will hear lots of nonsense, so before we get to that point, you should know that this is the only way for the Chiefs’ biggest offseason issue to be resolved.

The Chiefs will sign quarterback Alex Smith to a long-term deal because they have no better options. Smith will sign that contract for reasons both personal and professional. It will be the most realistic outcome for both sides.

Only with a quarterback can the leverage bequeathed by another team-friendly CBA be shifted back toward a player who still has so much to prove. But this is where we are.

More to the point, this is where Smith and the Chiefs are as they approach a decision critical to the futures of each side.

As much as the Chiefs may want to hoard their options to improve at the game’s most important position, and keep from overpaying a nice-but-not-great player, they don’t have much of a choice.

And this is why, unless something goes very wrong, the Chiefs will sign Smith (whose current contract has one year remaining) to a long-term deal worth more than they’d like to pay for a quarterback with important strengths and a bright future ... but also the kinds of limitations that keep him from ranking among the game’s very best.

The Chiefs need Smith more than Smith needs the Chiefs, in other words, and that kind of dynamic does not usually exist between an NFL team and a player who’s still under contract.

Fortunately for the Chiefs, Smith — after eight years of turmoil in San Francisco — feels a fundamental appreciation for the kind of stability that Kansas City can offer with a long-term contract and head coach Andy Reid.

Smith can take this as his first true chance to be a Franchise Quarterback, with teammates who respect him and coaches and executives who are invested in him. The Chiefs didn’t win a playoff game in their first season together, of course, but Smith played more than well enough against the Colts — quite possibly the best game of his career, actually — to earn confidence.