Washington releases Alex Smith, what’s next?

On Friday, the Washington Football Team and QB Alex Smith have mutually agreed to part ways, and for the first time in his career, Alex Smith is a free agent. Where does Alex Smith wind up now? There aren’t many teams that can bring him in as a starter, so he’ll probably have to settle for a backup role, a team Chicago comes to mind. Wherever he winds up, the best he can hope for is a competition for a starting gig.

This move saves Washington almost $15M, giving them around $50M in cap space, the 4th most in the NFL. Now Washington has two main questions to deal with, what to do with both Brandon Scherff and Johnathan Allen.

Scherff is not under contract, and both sides are working towards a long term deal, with the franchise tag potentially being in place. I fully expect a deal to get done, but with the abundance of starter level guards on market and the cap space going down due to the COVID-19 revenue loss, a second franchise tag could be the only option the the moment.

As for Johnathan Allen, he is only under contract for the 2021-22 season, his fifth year option from his rookie deal making $10M. Allen and Washington are already in talks on a contract extension, but there is one small issue that can potentially come up, where does this leave Daron Payne next season? What about Montez Sweat the year after that? Do they want to pay Allen top of the market money, or do they want to wait until next year and try to get a deal in the offseason?

Regardless of what they do, I fully expect them to go hard in the WR market, probably at Curtis Samuel. Washington’s free agency could be some sort of deal with Schereff, a top WR, and a deal with CB Ronald Darby.

Another big question is, what they will do at the QB position? They won’t get a top QB in the draft or a Deshaun Watson in a trade, so a Sam Darnold or Marcus Mariota, maybe even a Teddy Bridgewater could be in play if Carolina decides to move on from him. If they trade for Bridewater, I don’t see them giving up more than a 5th round pick. A deal could be look like a Case Keenum deal from 2019 when Washington received Keenum and 2020 7th round pick (DE James Smith-Williams) in exchange for a 2020 6th round pick (Guard Netane Muti).

The good thing about trading for someone like Teddy Bridewater is his contract. If he is not the QB they want to build around, they can simply cut him and save $21M and try again for their franchise QB in 2022. I’ve already listed the other QB moves not named Teddy Bridgwater, go check that out.