Mr. Smith is leaving Washington.
Per NFL Network’s Kim Jones and Ian Rapoport, the Washington Football Team is reportedly moving on from quarterback Alex Smith, planning to release him and “upgrade” at quarterback this offseason.
The Washington Football Team is expected to part ways with QB Alex Smith in the coming days, sources tell me and @KimJonesSports. The AP Comeback Player of the Year has said he still wants to play, and at age 36 may have a chance to do so.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021
Rapoport says that Smith plans to play at least one more season at Age 36, and a team looking for a stopgap starter or quality backup may be in the market for Smith’s services.
Smith won the AP Comeback Player of the Year award, after almost two years away from the field recovering and rehabbing from a devastating leg injury that almost cost him his life; Smith tossed for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns with eight interceptions last season.
Smith recently said that his miraculous comeback threw a “wrench” into Washington’s plans at quarterback, given that the team has been dealing with QB controversies after former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins was, shockingly, released in 2020.
So what will Washington do at QB? A few options for the Football Team as they enter the offseason, again looking for a franchise passer:
Washington Football Team quarterback options
“I think the biggest thing we can say is that we’re exploring all of our options,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said earlier in the offseason about the QB situation. ”Nothing is off the table.”
With the Smith release, Dwayne Haskins busting in Washington and no future, blue-chip passer on the team, there are a number of options for the Football Team entering the offseason — some familiar and some not.
- Could a short-term reunion be in order for head coach Ron Rivera and Cam Newton? Newton is coming off a pretty poor passing season with the Patriots, and some reports indicate that he may return to New England for one more season. Rivera seems to like familiarity in his quarterback room, though, with former Panthers Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke signing deals and taking snaps in 2020 for the squad.
- Speaking of Taylor Heinicke, the passer recently signed a two-year deal with Washington after a surprising pair of decent games in 2020 — one in the regular season and one in the playoffs vs. the Buccaneers. The 27-year-old is likely not a future star QB, but could buy himself some snaps entering the 2021 season.
- The trade market could be enticing, depending on who is available. The Jets and quarterback Sam Darnold seem to be heading for a split. The Broncos and Drew Lock might not be long for one another. Russell Wilson? Don’t count on it, though SN’s Vinnie Iyer pegs Washington as a top trade destination for Wilson.
- Washington currently picks at No. 19 in the 2021 NFL Draft, potentially out of range for the top quarterbacks in the draft. The pre-draft process still has to play out, though, with pro days scheduled over the next month.