Washington Football Team's Alex Smith Hasn't Decided on NFL Return Next Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2021

Washington Football Team's Alex Smith plays during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith told reporters Sunday he would take a few weeks to consult with his wife, Elizabeth, before deciding on whether he would continue his playing career in 2021 following Saturday's 31-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

"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," he said. "My wife has been through a lot, my family has been through a lot but that's for another time and place."

Smith was unable to play in Saturday's loss, still dealing with a right calf muscle strain he first suffered on Dec. 13. Overall, he finished the year with 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight games, completing 66.7 percent of his passes. 

That Smith played at all was remarkable, given the life-threatening leg injury he suffered in 2018. But Smith wasn't thrilled to be sidelined as Washington's season ended. 

"It's not the way you want to finish a season," he said. "To even be in this situation is something that if presented to me a year ago, two years ago, I would have jumped at it."

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If the 36-year-old Smith doesn't return, Washington will have major questions to answer at quarterback after cutting 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins late in the season. That would leave the team without any signed quarterbacks on the roster, though the team could choose to re-sign players like Kyle Allen and Taylor Heincke. 

It's likely that Washington would turn to either free agency, the NFL draft or the trade market to upgrade the position. WFT finished 7-9 this past season and has a nice base to build upon. But Smith's presence will be tough to duplicate.

"There's an intangible that some guys have and possess and Alex has it," head coach Ron Rivera told reporters. "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."