Football Team

There's one part of Smith's game that'll be irreplaceable

Football Team


Editor's note: Alex Smith was released by the team on Friday, JP Finlay reported.

The Washington Football Team should be able to find a quarterback this offseason, either through free agency or the draft, that's better than Alex Smith in just about every way. Hell, they might emerge from the next few months with multiple superior options.

Unless the Burgundy and Gold end up with Ryan Fitzpatrick, for example, the franchise will have a younger QB room. That youth should, in theory, also contain more upside, something that Smith doesn't really have at this point of his career.

Without Smith, there should be fewer concerns about durability as well as more hope for mobility. And while there might be some more turnovers coming from a Smith-less position, there ought to be more downfield throws and game-changing strikes, too.

There is one area, however, where Ron Rivera's club is certainly going to take a hit once No. 11 departs. It's a spot that some will discount and, ultimately, one that could still be outweighed by all of the potential positives above, therefore not costing Washington too much in the end.

Even so, while so much about Smith appears replaceable, the aspect about him that can't and won't be replicated by whoever is added in the future is his leadership and the way his teammates felt when he entered the huddle.

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"He tells you what needs to be done," Sims said of the QB. "He gives you the answers to the test. He makes it easier for us."

On top of all that, of course, is the universal respect he garnered by coming back to suit up at all. That was legitimately the stuff of legend and is history only he owns.

Now, with what Smith was set to earn in 2021, plus the overall reset that's required at quarterback for Washington to continue its rebuild, there just wasn't a realistic scenario where he'd be back next season. As stated before, Washington will improve in many facets as a result of the transaction; his most ardent supporters can't debate that.

Yet where Smith will be most missed are the parts of the sport that are the easiest to miss. Sure, his lack of aggressiveness was frustrating and he's no longer reliable enough health-wise to count on, but his poise, intelligence and confidence set the tone for all who shared a uniform with him. 

To tie this back to Sims' remarks: It's going to be almost impossible to locate someone who has the answers to the test like Smith had.