A look at Washington's cap space now that Smith's been released originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
What was expected for weeks and reported earlier this week is now real: The Washington Football Team has released Alex Smith after three seasons but only 16 starts.
NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay confirmed the news on Friday morning.
Because the transaction played out over a period of time, there's already been plenty of coverage on what the franchise will most miss about the quarterback as well as some speculation on where he could land next.
So, in order to take a fresh angle to this long-awaited development, let's evaluate the Burgundy and Gold's salary cap situation now that Smith is no longer on the roster.
By moving on from Smith, Washington will save more than $14 million. All together, OverTheCap.com projects the club to have more than $50 million to spend this offseason.
That amount gives the franchise the fourth most amount of cap space in the NFL.
While releasing Smith may seem cold on the surface, thanks to his remarkable comeback and the role he played in the 2020 division title, the increased freedom the organization gets by doing so is what made the move inevitable. From a business perspective, it simply made total sense.
Looking ahead, Washington's picked a good offseason to be in a strong position cap-wise.
In addition to the numerous players already set to become available at positions Ron Rivera would love to bolster, that talent pool is expected to grow even larger in the near future as cash-strapped squads work their way onto better ground. So, there should be even more options for Rivera and the front office to choose from.
Also, the salary cap ceiling has yet to be established, but experts are forecasting it to be lower than in years past due to the pandemic's effects. Therefore, fewer teams than normal are slated to be major players on the market — with Washington representing one of the few that can feel confident in their pre-free agency standing.
And by dropping Smith from their depth chart, that standing is now even more sound.