The Washington Football Team released quarterback Alex Smith at his request on Friday and head coach Ron Rivera said they both agreed it is what’s best for the team.
The move saves Washington $14.9 million in cap space and Smith will enter free agency.
“I had a chance to meet with Alex Smith 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,” Rivera said. “Everyone here in Washington wishes Alex and his family the best going forward and appreciates all that he gave to our organization.”
Last week, reports circulated that the quarterback wasn’t expected back with Washington in 2021.
Smith had two years left on a contract he signed after Washington traded for him in 2018. ESPN reports he made it clear to Washington that he wanted to continue playing.
Smith threw six scores last season with eight interceptions, throwing for 1,582 yards in going 5-1 as a starter.
He missed all of the 2019 season after having 17 operations to repair a broken leg — and later save from amputation — he sustained in 2018.
Smith has not said for certain that he’s going to return for this season, but sources told ESPN he wanted to continue playing.