Alex Smith Says Washington Didn’t Want Him Back, Actively Tried to Keep Him From Playing

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Imagine fighting your way back from a gruesome leg injury that required close to 20 surgeries and two years to fix. Then, imagine feeling like the team you’re playing for doesn’t really want you around during and after that battle.

That is — or was — the life of Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith. In an article with GQ that dove into his journey back to the field, Smith talked about Washington not wanting him there.

Here are a few eye-popping quotes from the GQ article.

“They never thought I was coming back. No one there,” Smith said. “I did all my rehab outside of the building.”

But that’s not all, folks.

“When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench in the team’s plan,” Smith said. “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 the chance.”

Wow, talk about a shift in the plot. For the entire 2020 season, Smith’s amazing return was a huge win for Washington. It keep them in the news cycle on plenty of occasions, and not for negative reasons — once again, that’s huge.

Apparently, what was happening behind the scenes goes further than the fairytale, as Smith had to overcome naysayers in his own building.

The article has caused many to speculate what went wrong. Obviously, the longtime quarterback isn’t happy with his team, but why speak out about it now? Well, Grant Paulsen with NBC Sports Washington had a couple of tweets that could shed some light on Smith’s reasoning.

He may have several reasons for being upset, including not getting to start the playoff game and a comment made by Ron Rivera in a late December press conference. Check it out.

At this point, I don’t really care who was for — or against — Smith. He’s the most qualified Comeback Player of the Year candidate in NFL history, and he proved to be a great example of why you shouldn’t ever give up.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and


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  1. It`s the NFL. It was a feel good story for both Smith and the `skins (oops, sorry wokes). That injury , and journey back, was so grueling Alex should just get out while he can still walk. I wish him the best whichever way he goes.

  2. I wondered why he didn’t play in the playoff game. Rivera was obviously planning his long rebuild and Smith blew it of him by proving they had a decent roster. Go Smith, screw the no names, mostly because they didn’t even have the guts to be honest. Let Bezos buy them, now that he’s a gazillinoare, he can afford another failing purchase: Washington Post.

  3. I think Alex Smith is being a childish, entitled snob who reveals his true character when he tries to RAT out the Redskins franchise. We are all behind Alex Smith in being able to make a comeback this season and are all glad that he won the Comeback player of the year award. But he might as well win the Whiner Player of the Year Award too. Remember, this is the same Alex Smith that 49ers coach Mike Nolan threw under the bus for not toughening out an injury in 2008. This is the same Alex Smith that Jim Harbaugh couldn’t bench fast enough when he realized Colin Kapernaek just had much more raw ability to take them to the Super Bowl. This is the same Alex Smith that Andy Reid was happy to ship to Washington with an unproven Patrick Mahomes. Riverboat Ron was classy and supportive enough of Alex Smith throughout the season, but who could blame Riverboat Ron for not wanting to see the injury prone Alex Smith getting potentially crushed again in an NFL football (if you watch enough Redskins games this season you would know what I am talking about). Sad that this entitled baby Alex Smith is now trying to be critical of Riverboat Ron who struggled also with life-threatening disease. The woke media likes to crap on the Redskins. Don’t buy into it. Alex Smith is making a BIG mistake here as no other NFL team is likely going to pay him more than the minimum as a backup. Goodbye Alex Smith! See you GONE forever.

    • Agreed. Frankly, we don’t even need to go this deep with it, Smith’s play was mediocre at best against the lowly Eagles. The dude couldn’t plant and throw with any strength. If Smith would have suited up against Tampa the Skins would have maybe scored 13 points. Instead the game Heinecke played really well and moved the ball up and down the field all game.

      • Couldn’t agree more. I hate this kind of shit, the whole world is behind him, so now he has to be a petulant martyr bitch. How about being thankful that you got PAID for the last two years. The guy was basically dead weight for the team, while he re-habbed, of course they wanted him to retire, he was told he would be lucky to walk. He played at the most basic level and still got hurt, Tampa Bay would have eaten him alive, if he doesn’t believe that he can ask Pat Mahomes.

  4. From a coaching decision it made zero sense. Smith was clearly their best option to make the team competitive when he played, and that’s after two years off the field. Let’s be crystal clear. The reason they hoped he went away was the $70 million they owed him the next few years if he somehow made it back. We see why this organization has stunk ever since Joe Gibbs left.

  5. I’m not going to read too much into this. It was a horrifying injury, and a lot of factors likely played into to team’s decision-tree from a business perspective, not personal.

  6. I imagine they would have recouped some money had he not played last year, granted it wouldn’t have been any help for the salary cap. 100% correct they didn’t want him to play they wanted him to retire. He is still a huge number against the cap.

    Regardless of him returning and you cannot quantify leadership and decision making. You can quantify numbers and his numbers are give or take similar to Haskins, his decision making because of experience kept them out of as many terrible positions. He was still not a top QB and would not have started for maybe any other team in the league.

    With average QB play Washington wins 10 games last year period. Could Kyle Allen have done that? I don’t know because I don’t know that he is average.

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