Following Washington’s loss in the wild card round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Alex Smith now has an offseason to decide on his future in football.
Smith did not play in Washington’s 31-23 loss to Tampa Bay after being ruled inactive with a calf strain on his right leg, though the injury was not related to his broken tibia and fibula fracture sustained in his 2018 injury. He called it frustrating to miss the team’s first playoff game since 2015.
“Frustrating in the sense that I felt so good, I felt I had come so far through the Pittsburgh game (on Dec. 7) to limping in a little bit and fighting through this,” Smith said, according to ESPN. “That’s frustrating to not holding up your end of the bargain.”
Smith said that he will take a few weeks to think about his future with the team before making a decision.
“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 told ESPN on Sunday. “My wife has been through a lot, my family has been through a lot, but that’s for another time and place.”
Head coach Ron Rivera will meet with owner Dan Snyder within the coming days to discuss the team’s quarterback situation.
“There’s an intangible that some guys have and possess and Alex has it,” Rivera said, per ESPN. “Can it be replaced? You’ll have to find a guy that has that same type of intangible, and those guys are special. They only come around once in a while. Alex has that kind of intangible. Part of it is because his experience, the game he played and obviously what he’s gone through.”
As a starter, Smith went 5-1 on the season — the most telling stat of all. Smith overcame nearly losing his leg in 2018 and was an effective quarterback for Washington when starter Dwayne Haskins was benched and backup quarterback Kyle Allen suffered a season-ending injury.
“Having a vet at the quarterback position changes (things) dramatically,” running back Antonio Gibson told the Washington Post. “He’s been there and done that, so there’s not too much pressure on him. He relaxes in the huddle, I feel like for me, anyway.”
Smith finished the season with a 66.7% completion rate, throwing for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is signed with Washington through the 2022 season, but there is a potential out for Washington in his contract this offseason, though it would carry a cap hit of $24.4 million against a projected $175 million salary cap this year.
“It was more about the attempt and the journey than the outcome,” Smith told ESPN. “If I had come up short trying to come back, I would have slept just fine at night knowing I tried. I’m grateful I’m here right now.”