Alex Smith Rumors: Texans Could Pursue QB as Deshaun Watson Contingency Plan

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2021

FILE - Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith warms up before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia, in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. Washington’s biggest offseason need is to figure out its quarterback situation. Trade for DeShaun Watson? Sign Cam Newton? Roll with Alex Smith and Kyle Allen? Coach Ron Rivera says “nothing is off the table.” (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Houston Texans are reportedly considering pursuing veteran quarterback Alex Smith in free agency should they part ways with Deshaun Watson.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Houston's potential interest in Smith on Friday:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The #Texans still haven’t engaged in trade talks, but they continue to get calls about Deshaun Watson. And if it becomes clear Watson won’t be there — via trade, holdout or otherwise — don’t rule out Alex Smith landing in Houston. @nflnetwork https://t.co/q1yPLMBOTU

Fellow NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said Smith would be an "Interesting contingency plan" if Watson is traded this offseason.

It was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t ESPN's Sarah Barshop) in January that Watson had asked for a trade because of his frustrations with the Texans organization for several reasons, including the fact that he wasn't included in the hiring process for a new general manager.

Pelissero noted that the Texans have not engaged in trade talks yet, but if they do decide to make a move, Smith could be brought in for quarterback depth.

Aside from his trade request, Watson has been in the news recently because of the fact that 19 civil lawsuits have been filed against him in recent weeks.

In the lawsuits, it is alleged that Watson engaged in sexual misconduct against female massage therapists.

With so much uncertainty surrounding Watson's future with the Texans, it stands to reason that the organization is weighing its options for a scenario in which he does not play for the team in 2021.

Houston already signed veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who may be in line to take over as the starter if Watson is not part of the team next season.

The Texans also have Ryan Finley on the team after acquiring the Bengals' 2019 fourth-round pick last month from Cincinnati. Finley is better suited as a backup right now, meaning the Texans could conceivably be in the market for another veteran signal-caller to compete with Taylor.

The 36-year-old Smith has played 14 seasons in the NFL since the San Francisco 49ers took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft.

While Smith has never lived up to the level of being a No. 1 overall pick, he owns a career regular-season record of 99-67-1 as a starter and was named a Pro Bowler three times with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Smith missed the entire 2019 season after suffered a gruesome leg injury, but he returned last season in a backup capacity for the Washington Football Team before eventually taking over as the starter.

In eight games, including six starts, Smith completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions. While his numbers didn't look great, he went 5-1 and helped Washington win the NFC East and reach the playoffs.

Smith was also named NFL Comeback Player of the Year for returning from what could have been a career-ending injury.

It is possible that Smith's best football is behind him, but if Watson goes elsewhere, the Texans could do worse than bringing him in to compete with Taylor, especially since he played under new Houston head coach David Culley from 2013-16 in Kansas City.


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