One day after his Washington Football Team dropped a hard-fought game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with him sidelined, quarterback Alex Smith is still deciding on his future.
Smith, 36, missed said game with a right calf injury after giving it a go in a must-win Week 17 outing against the Philadelphia Eagles. He watched from the sideline as Taylor Heinicke put up a gutsy performance in a 31-23 loss to the heavily favored Buccaneers. Now, it looks like Alex Smith could have played his final NFL game.
Washington Football Team QB Alex Smith contemplating retirement
“I had so much fun this year, to be back in the locker room and on the field to play a game I love and to lose yourself in it is one of the great feelings in the world,” Smith said, via ESPN. “My wife has been through a lot, my family has been through a lot but that’s for another time and place.”
Alex Smith will talk it over with his wife, Elizabeth, before ultimately coming to a conclusion. He’s seen as a family man. He also pulled off one of the greatest comeback stories in NFL history during the regular season after suffering a devastating leg injury back in 2018 that resulted in life-threatening post-operation issues.
In terms of what we saw from Smith this past season, it’s clear he’s still a starter-caliber quarterback in the NFL. Despite throwing six touchdowns against eight interceptions, he led Washington a 5-1 record. The former No. 1 pick is 11-5 as a starter in the nation’s capital since joining the team back in 2018.
If not Alex Smith, who will be the Washington Football Team starter in 2021?
Washington can opt to move off Smith while saving north of $14 million against the cap this offseason. While head coach Ron Rivera appreciates everything the veteran has done, he’s also not committing fully to Smith in 2021.
“Rivera said settling the quarterback position will be an offseason priority,” the ESPN report read. “He said he’ll meet with owner Dan Snyder to lay out his vision for the future and then they’ll meet as a staff Monday to discuss the evaluation process.”
Washington’s decision to release former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins late in the 2020 season complicates things further. Despite having a built-in relationship with both Kyle Allen and Heinicke, it’s hard to imagine Rivera going with either one as the starter in 2021.
Coming off a shocking playoff appearance, Washington also isn’t in a position to select any of the top-four quarterbacks in the coming 2021 NFL Draft.
If Alex Smith were to retire or Washington opts to move on from him, the quarterback situation will be a major backstory in D.C. this coming offseason. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson would be a primary target if he is indeed placed on the trade block due to some major internal strife.
Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton could also be an option. Despite some major struggles with the Patriots this season, Newton’s built-in relationship with Rivera has to be taken into account.
Either way, this is more about Alex Smith and his future. If this is indeed it for the veteran quarterback, it has been a wild ride. Smith struggled to do anything as a member of the 49ers after being selected first overall back in 2005. That’s until Jim Harbaugh was hired by San Francisco.
Since the start of the 2011 season, spanning stops with the 49ers, Chiefs and WFT, Alex Smith has posted an absurd 80-40-1 record with 148 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.