Washington Redskins: Forget Carson Palmer, Skins Should Inquire About Alex Smith

Josh McCainSenior Writer IJanuary 25, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 2:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers passes against the Arizona Cardinals during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on January 2, 2011 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

With Chris Mortenson's latest report that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer wanting a trade, fans and the media were quick to jump aboard the "Should the Redskins trade for him" bandwagon.

There has been a ton of discussion about it even though there is no new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and therefore no player can be traded until such time.

Let's also not forget two things.  Bengals owner Mike Brown is insistent that they will not trade the franchise quarterback and the Redskins franchise hasn't even made any such moves that they would want to replace Rex Grossman for next season (other than not granting him a contract extension yet).

So honestly, I think all the talk about trading for Palmer is a bit premature as well as people getting too excited or overly angry about it.

I, however, have a better and cheaper solution to Carson Palmer—Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers.

Yes, I know Smith has not lit the world on fire since being taken No. 1 overall by the Niners in 2005, but at the same time he's never really had a bang-up team around him.

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His offensive line has been more than suspect, his receivers (with the exception of tight end Vernon Davis) have been invisible and his coaching staff has been revolving doors.  Joe Montana would struggle if he were in San Francisco now.

The only real weapon Smith has had has been Frank Gore.

Smith has all the physical and mental makeup to be a successful NFL quarterback.  He just needs some stability around him, and some decent receivers.

The Redskins, I believe, are moving in the right direction for a young quarterback like Smith (26) to be successful.

The offensive line was providing better protection towards the end of the season and their few holes may very well be addressed in the draft and whenever free agency opens up.

The receiving core is more reliable than what Smith had in San Francisco and before free agency ends the Skins will have added a top-tier wide out like Vincent Jackson or Sidney Rice.

And as of right now, with a backfield tandem of Ryan Torain and Clinton Portis, Smith should have a similar running attack he had in San Francisco.

Not to mention that if the Niners cut or trade him the Skins should get him at a bargain-basement price.

Sure Smith's stats don't blow you out of the park—in five seasons he's thrown for 9,399 yards and has 51 touchdowns and 53 interceptions.

But compare that to Rex Grossman who as 7,081 yards (in seven seasons) with 40 touchdowns and interceptions and all of a sudden Smith looks like a substantial upgrade.

No doubt that Smith has some growing to do at the quarterback position, but of all the possible available quarterbacks this offseason he makes the most sense given the raw talent for what should be a low price.

I think at worst the Skins would have to give up a third-rounder for Smith and that would be for the 2012 draft since there probably won't be a CBA before this year's draft.  With Palmer there is no doubt that if Cincy wanted to trade him (and I don't think they will) they'll ask for no less than a No. 1 pick.

Given that Palmer is five years older and will cost a lot more than Smith, Alex still seems like the ideal choice.

Smith is also young enough that the team won't feel compelled to draft a quarterback this year (at least with their first pick) and can maybe hold out and try to get Andrew Luck next year.

Or, Smith proves to be what everyone thought he was going to be in 2005 and the Redskins don't even have to worry about drafting a quarterback for a few years.

All in all Smith is an upgrade to what the Redskins have right now. 

Rex is terrible and Donovan will be on the first train out of here the first opportunity he gets (no matter how much the fans want him to stay), plus he's old and let's be real, he was very ineffective this year and I don't think much will change for him next season.

So there you have it.  A young quarterback with a lot of upside will be available (probably) this offseason and he's an upgrade to Grossman and should come cheap.  Please, someone tell me why the team shouldn't at least look into him.

For more Redskins chatter please follow me on Twitter (@jomac006).


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