ASHBURN, Va. -- If you expected Redskins quarterback Alex Smith to hang up the cleats for a role within the team's front office, think again. Smith has full intentions to make a return to the field in 2020.
The 35-year-old quarterback has not played a down of football since November 2018 when he suffered a gruesome leg injury against the Texans, an injury he is still recovering from 15 months later. Throughout much of the 2019 season, Smith watched games from Redskins owner Dan Snyder's suite at FedEx Field and was seen several times before games with both Snyder and former team president Bruce Allen.
His presence among the Redskins higher-ups, combined with the struggles Washington had this season, prompted speculation whether Smith would retire from football in order to take a role within the Redskins' front office. On Monday, during Redskins locker cleanout, the veteran spoke for the first time in months, denying those claims.
"Has there ever been a GM and quarterback?" Smith said when asked about a front-office role. "I love all the rumor mill and all the stuff that circulates out there. My focus is to get out there and play again."
Smith was very appreciative of both Snyder and Allen's support throughout the season. He thanked them for putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to make him feel comfortable during a difficult time.
He understands why the rumors of him potentially joining the front office may have surfaced.
"I do feel that Bruce and Dan have been so supportive of me throughout this process being around the team in whatever role this has been," Smith said. "I think with that, I've tried to make things as comfortable as possible for me. I think they've shouldered a lot of responsibility, and I mean that in a positive way. They've tried to lighten the load and it make things as comfortable as possible. I think with that, things have kind of been taken astray with some of the stuff."
As to why Smith spent game days in the box rather than on the sidelines, the veteran quarterback explained that for much of the season, standing along the sidelines would have put him at further risk for injury.
"Certainly, there was a long time I couldn't even be on the sidelines. Medically, it wasn't safe for me to be down there," Smith said. "Yeah, it was a different perspective to be in the coaches' box for part of the year, to be in the box with Mr. Snyder. I'm very appreciative with everything they've given me throughout this process. A lot of it goes unnoticed."
While Smith's appreciation for the front office is clear, he made it adamant that his No. 1 goal remained to return to the sidelines and playing football again.
"I still have dreams of getting back to where I was and getting back out there," Smith said. "This has been a crazy ride with a lot of unforeseen turns, but without a doubt, that's still my goal."
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