A week after Alex Smith said Washington didn’t want him during his incredible return from a scary leg injury, the team is expected to cut him

Alex smith
Alex Smith went 5-1 as a starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team in 2020. Barry Reeger/AP Images
  • Alex Smith is expected to part ways with the Washington Football Team and pursue a new team in free agency.
  • Smith won NFL Comeback Player of The Year honors in 2020 after returning from a gruesome leg injury.
  • Smith’s return was regarded as one of the most unlikely comebacks in sports history due to the severity of his injury.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Alex Smith is reportedly set to continue his NFL career on a new team in 2021, as the Washington Football Team is expected to part ways with the 36-year-old quarterback this offseason.

Smith, the NFL’s reigning Comeback Player of The Year, wants to keep playing, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport, despite a troubling injury history.

-Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021

Smith made his return to the football field this past season after a nearly two-year recovery from a devastating leg injury sustained in November of 2018. That year, in a Week 11 game against the Houston Texans, Smith’s leg was bent at an awkward angle, which resulted in a compound fracture that broke both the tibia and fibula in his right leg.

Smith’s condition ended up being much worse than initially expected. Amputation and even death were possibilities in the days following the injury, as a flesh-eating bacteria infected Smith’s leg and threatened his life. Simply keeping Smith alive and keeping his leg attached were the main priority for Washington team doctor Robin West, and anything beyond that was considered a miracle, West told ESPN.

Smith’s new situation as a legitimate upcoming free-agent quarterback option, even if not a starter, is a testament to what he and his medical assistants accomplished with his recovery.

Despite his resilience, Smith claims the organization was not as welcoming of his return as he was hoping. Smith told Clay Skipper of GQ that his return ‘threw a wrench’ into Washington’s quarterback plans.

Smith was acquired by Washington via trade from the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2018 offseason under Washington’s old regime led by former president Bruce Allen and former head coach Jay Gruden. He claims the new guard led by president Jason Wright and head coach Ron Rivera ‘didn’t want him.’

“They didn’t see it, didn’t want me there, didn’t want me to be a part of it, didn’t want me to be on the team, the roster, didn’t want to give me a chance,” Smith told Skipper. “They tried to put me on PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] for two weeks, then they tried to IR me. I felt like I still hadn’t had my fair shake at that point. I wanted to see if I could play quarterback and play football, and I feel like I hadn’t been given that opportunity yet to find that out.”

Smith became the frontrunner to win Comeback Player of The Year as soon as he was cleared to play in 2020 by Washington’s training staff back in August. At that time, he was penciled in as the team’s third-string quarterback behind Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen.

In Week 9 against the Giants, Allen suffered a season-ending leg injury of his own which thrust Smith in as the starter.

Washington went 5-1 in Smith’s starts. Those wins included a pivotal Week 17 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles when Smith returned from his calf injury to lead Washington to the NFC East title. It would be Smith’s final game for Washington as he missed the team’s playoff game the next week due to injury concerns.

Smith’s current contract runs until 2022 and has a maximum value of $68.6 million. However, Washington does have the option to release Smith before June 1 and take on $12.9 worth of dead money over the next two years, allowing Smith to be an unrestricted free agent.

According to Rappoport, the Chicago Bears are one potential suitor for Smith’s services in 2021.

-Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021