Officially Official; Ron Rivera says Alex Smith requested to be released:
We have released QB Alex Smith pic.twitter.com/wdDya9oVqa— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) March 5, 2021
The report came out on Monday that the Washington Football Team was expected to release QB Alex Smith by the end of the week. Friday night has been a good night to dump news that isn’t pleasant. That was probably the plan, but the leak has been moved up after a report came out this morning that the NFL investigation into the organization has recommended that owner Dan Snyder sell the team.
Alex Smith, the Comeback Player of the Year, will not be coming back to Washington. The team officially released him today, making him a free agent and saving the WFT $14.9 million against the cap.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2021
The team has not officially announced they have released Smith, but multiple sources are saying the roster move is happening, and the team has informed him of their decision. Smith earned the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award after his amazing return from a broken leg in 2018 that almost need to be amputated due to severe infections. Smith saw the field as a result of a benched starter and then another QB getting injured. He led the team to a 5-1 record when he started and helped the team win the NFC for the first time since 2015.
That was a great story, but Alex Smith wasn’t decisive about his future at the end of the season, and told the team he needed a few weeks to figure out if he was going to come back for another season. Washington wasn’t going to wait for that, and Smith also had a calf strain/bone bruise at the end of the year that caused him to miss 3 of the last 4 games including their home playoff game. Smith was not mobile, and obviously limited by his reconstructed leg.
Money is always going to play a factor in a big decision like this. Alex Smith had two years left on his contract, but there was no guaranteed money to worry about. Washington will reportedly save $14.7 million ($14.9m according to Schefter above), and carry an $8.6 million dead cap hit this year. These savings, along with the $17 million they carried over from last season, will give them over $54 million in cap space. This was an easy and necessary move to make as the team prepares to add more pieces, and re-sign some of their own players.