There will be no storybook ending in the nation's capital with Alex Smith as Washington Football Team plans to release quarterback at some point this week, according to multiple reports.
Moving on from Smith is a move that makes sense for Washington, considering the 36-year-old's contract and durability concerns. Should he have remained with the club, Smith would carry a nearly $24 million cap hit, one far too expensive for a passer with the injury history of his.
Former Washington quarterback Jason Campbell joined the Team 980's Travis Thomas on Monday morning and said he, too, was not surprised by the Burgundy and Gold's decision to ultimately move on from the veteran Smith.
"It never shocked me. It's Washington," Campbell said. "But it is a business at the end of the day and you kinda understand they are going in another direction with a younger quarterback, someone they are trying to build around."
Besides Smith and a handful of other veterans, Washington has an overall young roster. After making the playoffs in 2020 despite starting four separate quarterbacks, many feel that with stability at that position Washington could be a lot better in 2021.
Smith started six games for Washington in 2020 and the team won five of them. But, after suffering a bone bruise in Week 14, the veteran missed three of Washington's final four games, showing the reality that no team can truly count on him to start 16 games moving forward.
"They're at a point where [with] the severity of the injury, how long can he really sustain? Last season he missed towards the end of the year, he was out for a few games," Campbell said. "You have to look at that moving forward because it is a major, major injury he had and from a business standpoint, they don't want to pay him $20+ million and not really knowing what they are going to be getting from a health standpoint."
Although Washington won when Smith was on the field, Ron Rivera's club has been actively searching for a quarterback upgrade this offseason. It was heavy suitors in the Matt Stafford sweepstakes before he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams and has reportedly inquired about multiple other passers, too.
Earlier this offseason, Rivera said that upgrading at the sport's most important position was atop the priority list this spring. While he later would say the team is in "no rush" to find a franchise quarterback, it has explored different avenues so far on how to improve at the position.
Campbell does believe that Washington appreciates what Smith has been able to accomplish. But, the former Washington signal-caller also understands the harsh realities of the business of the NFL, too.
"They appreciate what Alex did and fighting through that injury the way that he did and coming back and really kind of setting the tone for the team, how he didn't quit, how he didn't give up when everything was stacked against him. He put his head down and went to work," Campbell said.
"I think it's just based off a health thing and the business of the NFL," Campbell continued. "Alex's already made his mark in the NFL and made history. He has nothing to hang his head about. He has everything to keep his head up and appreciate his career."