The Washington Football Team is expected to cut quarterback Alex Smith in the coming days, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Kimberly Jones.
Smith, who was named the AP's Comeback Player of the Year for returning to the field after a gruesome leg injury nearly ended his career, has been with Washington since 2018. Following an injury to QB Kyle Allen and poor play by Dwayne Haskins, Smith led Washington to a 5-1 record and an unexpected playoff berth in 2020.
Smith didn't feel support from Washington
Smith, 36, told GQ in a recent interview that he didn't feel supported by Washington during his recovery and eventual return to the field, and actually felt like they didn't want him there. He somewhat chalks that up to the new regime that was installed between his 2018 injury and 2020 comeback.
"So there was a very small group of people that actually thought that I could do this. I think the rest of the world either doubted me, or they patronized me. 'Yeah, that's really nice that you're trying.' When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench in the team's plan. They didn't see it, didn't want me there, didn't want me to be a part of it, didn't want me to be on the team, the roster, didn't want to give me a chance. Mind you, it was a whole new regime, they came in, I'm like the leftovers and I'm hurt and I'm this liability. Heck no, they didn't want me there. At that point, as you can imagine, everything I'd been through, I couldn't have cared less about all that. [laughs] Whether you like it or not, I'm giving this a go at this point."
It was more than just not feeling supported by his team. Smith told GQ that he had to fight with the new regime to get back on the field.
"Well yeah. I mean, they tried to put me on PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] for two weeks, then they tried to high-arm me. I felt like I still hadn't had my fair shake at that point. I wanted to see if I could play quarterback and play football, and I feel like I hadn't been given that opportunity yet to find that out. It’s like getting this close to the end line of a marathon and they're telling you that you can't finish the race. It’s like, f*** that. I'm finishing this thing. At least I'm going to see if I can."
Smith could, and he did. But given those comments, it's not hugely surprising that Washington and Smith are likely to part ways. According to Rapoport, Washington has been seeking to upgrade at quarterback through trades.
As for Smith, he wants to keep playing, and will be a free agent for the first time in his career. He's shown that he still has some juice left and can provide solid, competent quarterbacking. That's not hugely exciting, but there's absolutely a team out there who needs exactly that.
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