Washington Football Team part ways with quarterback Alex Smith, who wants to remain in the NFL
Alex Smith's time with the Washington Football Team is over; the quarterback - who was named Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 - has been officially released by the franchise.
Last Updated: 05/03/21 7:06pm
Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith and the Washington Football Team have parted ways.
Smith won the award for top comeback player in 2020 after returning to the field from multiple leg surgeries.
Releasing Smith costs Washington $8.6m of his $23.3m cap hit in 2021.
Per reports, the 36-year-old plans to continue playing in the NFL if the opportunity exists.
"I had a chance to meet with Alex Smith this week and we had a very honest and real discussion," Washington head coach Ron Rivera said in a team statement.
"We had the chance to reflect on the 2020 season and talk about moving forward into next year. After the conclusion of that meeting we decided that it would be best for both parties to move on and we will be granting Alex his request to be released.
"I want to thank Alex for his contributions this past year. He made such an impact on our young roster and his leadership was one of the key factors in our late season success and in making the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Everyone here in Washington wishes Alex and his family the best going forward and appreciates all that he gave to our organisation."
This comes one week after Smith said he spoiled Washington's plans by returning to the team last year.
"When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench in the team's plan," Smith said in a GQ interview last month.
"They didn't see it, didn't want me there, didn't want me to be a part of it, didn't want me to be on the team, the roster, didn't want to give me a chance.
"Mind you, it was a whole new regime, they came in, I'm like the leftovers and I'm hurt and I'm this liability. Heck no, they didn't want me there. At that point, as you can imagine, everything I'd been through, I couldn't have cared less about all that. Whether you like it or not, I'm giving this a go at this point."
Smith's 2020 salary of $16m was fully guaranteed.
He began the season as Washington's third-string quarterback. The team turned to Kyle Allen after Dwayne Haskins was ineffective, then released, and Smith took over after Allen suffered a season-ending injury in Week 9.
Smith played in eight regular-season games, starting six, and completed 168 of 252 passes (66.7 per cent) for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns. He was unable to play in Washington's wild-card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a calf injury.