The Washington Football Team was the surprise of the 2020 season. Most had predicted they'd be in the basement of the NFC East come year end, but instead they won the division and represented the East in the Wild Card round.
One of the key reasons they became a favorite to many fans across the country is the story of their quarterback Alex Smith. Smith suffered a brutal leg injury in 2018, one that actually put his leg at risk. It was in question whether he'd ever be able to live a normal life again after the injury, let alone start another NFL game.
Smith triumphantly returned to the league in 2020, and helped Washington win some games in the middle of the year. He won the league's Comeback Player of the Year award, and served as an inspiration to fans everywhere.
Now, Alex Smith will look to continue his comeback elsewhere, as ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that he and Washington have agreed to part ways.
Alex Smith, the Comeback Player of the Year, will not be coming back to Washington. The team officially released him today, making him a free agent and saving the WFT $14.9 million against the cap.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2021
Washington head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement to the media that Alex Smith “made such an impact on our young roster and his leadership was one of the key factors in our late season success and in making the playoffs for the first time since 2015.”
Clearly, Smith's impact was felt on the franchise, and the team Twitter account released this tribute image today.
A true inspiration.
Thank you for everything, Alex. pic.twitter.com/LNtfZI7h6i
It's unclear what Washington's next move will be at quarterback, but they will almost certainly need to add someone to that room this offseason to compete for the starting job.
Washington did recently extend quarterback Taylor Heinicke to a two year deal, but it's hard to imagine he is their “Plan A.”