In a surprising move that took place directly after this year’s Pro Bowl, the Washington Redskins orchestrated a trade for quarterback Alex Smith. That trade abruptly put an end to quarterback Kirk Cousins’ future in Washington.
Fast forward a couple months and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had this to say when asked if the team is now better off with Smith.
“Yeah, without a doubt,” Gruden said, per John Keim of ESPN. “I don’t want to compare two players, but we’re always trying to be better at every position. We got better. Alex’s experience is well-noted, and his record the last five years is what it is. You could argue that all day, but we feel very good.”
These remarks must be a bit of a gut punch to Cousins, who did the team no wrong while patiently playing under franchise tender for the last two seasons.
But ultimately, Washington allowed Cousins to walk. Accordingly, the Redskins made a smart move in acquiring Smith who would have been snatched up quickly by any team in need should he have officially hit the trade block.
As Gruden says, the team should “feel very good” about gaining a quarterback who rarely makes a mistake. During Smith’s tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs, he averaged a 65.1 pass completion rate while throwing for 102 touchdowns compared to just 33 interceptions from 2013-17.
On top of that, Smith has seven playoff games under his belt. If he can help Washington get to the postseason in 2018, then all the better. And as far as Cousins is concerned, he did not make out too shabbily, recently becoming the highest-paid quarterback in the league.