- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
B-Mitch says ‘probably half’ of NFL would’ve cut Alex Smith originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Washington quarterback Alex Smith revealed Tuesday in an interview with GQ Magazine that the football team’s “new regime” told him not to try and return from the gruesome leg injury he suffered in 2018. It was a surprise revelation from the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, who remains under contract through 2022 but is a candidate to be released this offseason.
“When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench in the team's plan,” Smith said, as quoted by GQ. “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.”
Though not a good look for Washington, former return specialist and 106.7 The Fan show host Brian Mitchell doesn’t think the team should shoulder a lot of blame for not believing in Smith. On Wednesday’s show of “BMitch & Finlay,” Mitchell argued that a good chunk of other teams wouldn’t have even kept him on the roster.
“It’s an easy shot at this franchise because of things that have happened,” Mitchell said. “But ultimately, if all 32 teams was in this same situation, I would say probably half would’ve released [him], bit the bullet and moved forward. Some others would’ve probably just said, ‘Hell with it, put you on IR.’ There’s also something about — sometimes it can be a blessing and a curse — there’s an owner of this team who seems to like his players and if he gets close to you, he gives you more and more opportunities.”
Washington entered the 2020 season with former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins starting under center. He was benched just four games into the season and replaced by Kyle Allen, who played for Rivera in Carolina before they both ended up in D.C. That paved the way for Smith to complete his return when Allen missed the second half in Week 5 and suffered a season-ending injury three weeks later.
Smith, who dealt with injuries of his own that forced him to miss Washington’s playoff game in the Wild Card round, finished the season with six starts (eight games) in which he completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions. While Washington did go 5-1 in his starts, the veteran quarterback’s mobility was limited as he had just three rushing attempts all season.
Whether or not he returns to Washington next season, Smith surprised everyone by how he was able to work his way back to the field. He still hopes to play again, it just may take convincing teams to believe in his ability to still perform in the twilight of his career.
“You don’t get paid in this league, for the most part, about what you’ve done,” Mitchell said. “You get paid by what you’re going to be able to do. I think when you start looking at potential at this point, that’s how he’s gonna be judged. Yes, Comeback Player of the Year, people are amazed…but ultimately, everything now is going to be decided on: What’s the potential of being the guy that you were?”