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Consider these three things about the Alex Smith trade one year after the move was made

Consider these three things about the Alex Smith trade one year after the move was made

365 days ago, the Redskins traded for Alex Smith in a move that temporarily turned the NFL's attention away from the upcoming Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl and to the Burgundy and Gold.

Since that unforgettable moment, Smith established himself as a leader through offseason workouts and helped the 2018 'Skins to a 6-3 record before suffering an injury that could very well end his career.

A year later, there's a ton to think about as you look back on that transaction. These things are most worth considering, though.

The Redskins hoped they were landing 2017 Smith, but that's not who took the field

2017 Alex Smith easily set career highs in passing yards and touchdowns. He completed more than 67-percent of his passes and was dynamite in Kansas City's offense.

When the Redskins acquired him, they were hoping that one season would be the start of a late-career renaissance. Instead, he reverted to what he was before that breakout in his nine starts in 2018.

Perhaps the 'Skins' lack of playmakers held him back. After all, it's a lot easier to sling the ball around when Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt are on your side.

Perhaps the fit between Jay Gruden and Smith just wasn't right, and the signal caller was more comfortable under Andy Reid.

Whatever the reason, No. 11 just wasn't as productive in D.C. He really delivered in some ways — his ability to protect the ball was critical, and teammates cited his leadership as being top-notch — but when it came to moving the ball and creating points, he struggled.

Losing Kendall Fuller wasn't the toughest part about the deal

At first, the player whom the Redskins were sending to Kansas City along with a third-round pick wasn't named. It soon came out that Kendall Fuller was that player, and many Washington fans resented that decision.

That wasn't the part where the team was really hurt, however.

It stung to lose Fuller, but the organization had to try and find stability under center, which meant they had to give up a quality player. What's going to really crush them for a few more years is Smith's four-year extension with $71 million guaranteed.

He had one season left on his deal with the Chiefs, and many have speculated and reported that the extension was key in making the trade happen. That's smart negotiating on his part if that's the case.

How smart that was on the Redskins' side of things, meanwhile, is less clear. Again, looking to solidify quarterback was absolutely the right idea, but committing so much to an aging vet who most would politely describe as "solid" might not have been.

After all that, it's still hard to totally bash the move

Those who were skeptical of Smith's ability to suddenly become a prolific passer looked like they were on the way to being right. Those who questioned inking Smith to such a sudden and major extension will likely also be right.

Even with all that, though, it's difficult to fully slam what the Redskins did originally.

Kirk Cousins wasn't returning, so Washington wanted to put what was a 7-9 squad in the hands of a capable option who could push an "almost there" team to a playoff contender. Smith fit that criteria.

Additionally, while it was always unlikely he'd build on what he did in his last go-round with the Chiefs, he was a proven winner and someone who wouldn't lose games for Gruden and Co. When he was healthy, that's exactly what he did.

Yet, now his future is in serious doubt, the franchise has no franchise QB and every roster decision will be touched by Smith's situation. That'll lead plenty to label this as an awful trade, but what it should be labeled as is a well-intentioned transaction with awful consequences.

Sometimes, you take a big swing and make really good contact. But that really good contact doesn't always lead to a hit.

Every once in a while, you'll line into a double play, and it looks like that's what the Redskins did with this trade. 


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This incredible Chase Young jersey swap lit up Redskins Twitter. Here's how it was made

This incredible Chase Young jersey swap lit up Redskins Twitter. Here's how it was made

On Sunday, 17-year-old Thacher Groe tweeted a jersey swap featuring Chase Young in a Redskins uniform that immediately caught the attention of countless Washington fans. That's an idea that plenty of graphic designers and Photoshoppers have executed before him, of course, but the reason his stood out is, well, because it's absolutely tremendous. 

The final image is so remarkable, in fact, you almost have to remind yourself that it isn't real, and that Young isn't a member of the Burgundy and Gold yet.

Before getting to how Groe pulled the edit off, though, it's time for you to see it (and then stare at it, which is an inevitable response):

"This jersey swap took me around 6 hours to complete," he said after his post blew up. "This isn’t how long they usually take, but when I choose up-close images of players, I like to spend extra time on the little details such as reflections and stitching."

The only person with a higher approval rating among Redskins supporters than Groe is Ron Rivera. Users called him "brilliant" and dubbed him "elite." 

According to Groe, many people take on this kind of project by cutting out a jersey from a current player and then pasting that on the new one. That's the easier method.

He, on the other hand, prefers to "work on changing the colors and working with what already is there." That approach is much more involving, but it also produces masterpieces like the Young picture and this Cam Newton photo:

Together, those two creations have helped Groe double his social media following. 

"I think the combination of people loving jersey swaps as well as everyone being huddled up indoors on our phones were the perfect conditions for my sudden growth," he said.

The most difficult part of the project, Groe explained, was modifying the pass rusher's gloves. Turning them into Redskins gear "may be the hardest thing" he's ever done in four years of working with Photoshop. 

"Tedious," he said. "But definitely worth it."

The not-even-college-student got into graphic design after being hooked by the way the Madden displayed art for players and hopes to continue the passion well beyond school. No matter what his future holds, though, he's already achieved one miraculous thing in his career. 

He made a Redskins player look good in number 92. 

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Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

During a conference call with 13 professional sports commissioners Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he believes the 2020 NFL season should start as scheduled in September despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Trump also reportedly remarked that he would like to allow fans back into stadiums and arenas by August or September.

The president used the call as an opportunity to commend the commissioners for their response to the pandemic. On March 11, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to suspend play in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The NHL, which was less than a month out from the start of the playoffs, followed suit—as eventually did the MLS, ATP, WTA, PGA Tour, NASCAR and MLB spring training.

With the NFL still in the midst of its offseason, there remains hope that the 2020 season will begin on time. So far, the league has canceled its annual league meaning and delayed OTAs. The draft will be held as expected while teams make their selections remotely rather than in Las Vegas as originally planned. While many free-agent deals have yet to be finalized due to the inability for teams to conduct physicals, the NFL has yet to be affected as much as other major sports.

The season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 10 with opening Sunday coming Sept. 13.


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