Alex Smith’s release was pretty much inevitable, but according to Ian Rapoport and Kim Jones it sounds like the release will be official sooner rather than later.
The Washington Football Team is expected to part ways with QB Alex Smith in the coming days, sources tell me and @KimJonesSports. The AP Comeback Player of the Year has said he still wants to play, and at age 36 may have a chance to do so.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021
Smith was going to count for $23.3 million on Washington’s salary cap this year, which is a very high number for someone who was going to, at most, compete for the starting job. By releasing Smith the team will create another $14.7 million in cap room bringing them to about $52 million in projected cap space in 2021, 4th highest in the NFL at the moment.
Smith will be free to sign anywhere in the league once he is released. Most likely he will be lumped in with all the veteran free agent QB’s who would be considered stopgap players or tutors to a young quarterback. That list includes the names Cam Newton, Andy Dalton. Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. There are also going to be some younger names available.
It is entirely possible he could get lost in the shuffle of all those names. I would wonder if both of his former teams would look at him as a backup over some of the others out there this season. Many of the veterans last offseason did not sign until late in the spring or in the summer, though more teams should be in the QB market this year.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.