On Friday, March 5, the Washington Football Team announced they’ve released veteran quarterback Alex Smith.
Smith was initially acquired back via trade in 2018 from the Kansas City Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round draft choice.
In his three seasons with the WFT he only played in 18 games due to a horrific leg injury that almost cost him his life.
During a contest vs the Houston Texans on Nov. 18, 2018, Alex Smith was sacked by two players which contorted his leg in a direction it wasn’t supposed to go.
The official medical analysis of what happened is Smith suffered a spiral and compound fracture to both his tibia and fibula in his right leg. That would be bad enough on its’ own, but that wasn’t the worst of it.
After the first surgery it was discovered that Smith had developed necrotizing fasciitis which is a life-threatening form of bacteria that eats away the flesh. This resulted in sepsis which forced doctors to perform 17 surgeries on Alex during four separate hospital stays over a nine-month period.
Long story short, Smith was lucky to be alive and it would be a miracle if he could walk again, let alone play football. He missed the rest of that 2018 season and the entirety of the 2019 season.
He fought back and after all the issues with Dwayne Haskins, the WFT turned to Smith in their time of need. Alex played in eight games this year, starting six of them and leading Washington to the playoffs for the first time since 2015 with a NFC East divisional title.
A few weeks ago he earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors for his incredible story.
But if you didn’t know, you found out this week that the NFL is a cold cut-throat business, and as inspirational as that story was the WFT didn’t even wait until the body was cold before they dumped Smith on the street like yesterday’s news.
Now we’ve buried the lede here quite a bit so let’s work our way around…
It was important to set up the context to this story. Alex Smith is now a free agent and per multiple reports still wants to suit up next season.
Smith is no spry chicken, he’s 36 will be 37 by the start of the 2021 season, but as we’ve seen in recent times 37 is the new 27. The advances of medical technology are an amazing thing, we don’t have to look any further than the Alex Smith story for confirmation.
As much as everyone talks about the New York Jets needing a starting quarterback for next season, which they do, they also need a backup quarterback.
In 2020 Joe Flacco was serviceable, but had some bumps in the road. The team likely won’t be bringing him back next season, so where do they turn?
Why not Alex Smith?
Now if we’re being honest with ourselves, the New York Jets won’t be the top option for Smith in free agency. Hell they won’t even be the second best option.
As we spoke about on the latest episode of The Jets Zone podcast, Smith clearly has two better choices that could be available:
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Let’s make one thing clear, Alex’s days of being a day one starting quarterback are likely over unless the Chicago Bears come calling this offseason.
So with that in mind, Alex spent five amazing seasons with the Chiefs and passed the torch to Patrick Mahomes. Why wouldn’t he want to return home, win a few chips, then walk off into the sunset?
Or he could head down to Jacksonville and reunite with his old college coach Urban Meyer at Utah to groom Trevor Lawrence (or maybe Zach Wilson according to some new reports). Alex Smith seems like the “touchy-feely” kind of guy that would cherish a family reunion at this stage of his career.
Those are two better options that make a ton of sense, but if both of those aren’t on the table for whatever reason, the Jets should think about kicking the tires.
Joe Douglas said at his introductory press conference that he wants to build the best culture in sports. Since he was hired he has failed to do that. Signing Alex Smith would be one step in the right direction.
He’s battled the odds, proven in a pinch he can come in and win some football games, plus he can mentor/support whoever is playing quarterback for the New York Jets in 2021.