Later on in the day, some more details involving the breakup were released. Head coach Ron Rivera released an official statement on Smith’s departure from the franchise. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter shared the full statement on Twitter.
The split was reportedly a mutual decision.
“I had a chance to meet with Alex Smith earlier this week and we had a very honest and real discussion,” Rivera said in the 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 wishes Alex and his family the best going forward and appreciates all that he gave to our organization.”
And so the WFT says it was a mutual decision; with Alex Smith asking for his release: pic.twitter.com/ySI5J4DF1s
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2021
After starting the season with a 2-5 record behind Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen, Smith stepped into the starting role for Week 10. Through his six games as a starter in the final stretches of the season, the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year led the WFT to a 5-1 record behind 1,582 yards and six touchdowns. His solid play was even enough to rally the team to an NFC East title victory.
While Smith performed well in 2020, he was more of a quick fix rather than a long-term solution.
In the final few games of the year, the three-time Pro Bowl QB battled through a nagging lower-leg issue. Turning 37 years old in May and due $24.4 million in 2021, Smith isn’t exactly the best option for a team working towards the future.
With all of its quarterback issues in 2020, this offseason for Washington will be likely be dedicated to finding the next franchise QB.