Alex Smith, released by the Washington Football Team, will be the first free agent – NFL Sports

Exclusive rights free agent Kyle Allen is likely to return to the team with a $ 850,000 one-year contract, but Washington can pursue a free agent, trade, or draft starter.

Smith, 36, has recovered from a 2018 compound leg fracture and life-threatening infection and led Washington to the top of the NFC East last season 5-1. His renowned return helped him win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award and transform the team that started Season 1-3 with a fledgling attack led by Quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the second year.

“Especially when we see what Alex experienced, his desire and willingness to come back, and the joy and thrill he gets from playing,” Ron Rivera said in early January. .. “It’s a great example if you don’t feel it from a guy, especially in his age, his experience, his situation and circumstances. That’s why you play the game for me.”

But for the past few weeks, it has seemed likely to be split. Smith had two years left on his contract, with cap charges of $ 23.3 million and $ 25.3 million, respectively. Washington revealed that it was considering a transition from him as a starter when it made a competitive trade offer to Matthew Stafford.

Smith said he plans to “take a few weeks” to determine the future of football at the end of the season, but in subsequent interviews he strongly hinted that he would like to continue playing. He also spoke openly about Washington’s acceptance of recovery from injury.

“They didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t want to be part of it, I didn’t want to join the team, and the roster also gave me a chance I didn’t want to give it, “Smith said in an interview. GQ magazine.. “Be careful, it was a whole new regime. They came in, I was like leftovers, I was hurt, I am responsible for this. No, they want me to be there At that point, as you can imagine, everything I experienced, I couldn’t care too much about them all. Whether I like it or not, I’m at this point I’ll try this with. “

According to people familiar with the matter, these comments did not fit well with the organization.

The first match back from Smith’s long recovery was Allen’s bailout in the fifth week during a rainy defeat to the Los Angeles Rams at FedExField. Smith, whose wife and children were watching on the stand, recorded the first hit since the injury when defensive end Aaron Donald jumped back in search of a sack. He took five more sack before the game was over.

However, a month later, Allen suffered an ankle injury at the end of the season and made his first start with a defeat close to the Detroit Lions, leading Washington to four consecutive victories and once seemingly defeated. The season has turned around.

Washington completed the Dallas Cowboys sweep with a Thanksgiving victory at AT & T Stadium, defeating the previously undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in Heinz Field and defeating the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers in Arizona. Smith suffered a bone bruise on his surgically repaired right leg and set him aside for two games during Washington’s final push to the playoff spot, but to help the team close the division. I returned to the 17th week.

But his last moment with Washington was a bystander. Smith’s injured right foot prevented him from playing in the team’s playoff game for the first time in five years, and he defeated Washington in a fierce defeat by FedEx’s final Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I could only see it leading.

Now, for the first time since he joined the league as No. 1 overall in 2005, Smith can choose his next stop as a free agent.

Washington, on the other hand, has obvious holes in its most important positions. Armed with a selection of 19th place, ample cap space and eight draft topics this year, Rivera and his new regime are facing the greatest challenges ever.

– NFL Sports

Alex Smith, released by the Washington Football Team, will be the first free agent Alex Smith, released by the Washington Football Team, will be the first free agent

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