Report: Alex Smith wants to return to play 'somewhere' next season originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
After winning the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, Alex Smith's future with Washington is uncertain.
A new report from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, however, states that the 36-year-old quarterback wishes to play in the 2021-22 season.
"I'm told that Alex Smith after a great comeback year, going 5-2 down the stretch, he does want to continue playing football," Fowler said on SportsCenter on Sunday. "He's leaning that way, but he's got a large cap hit. Washington could save $13.6 million if they did move on. And many people around the league believe their answer at quarterback is not in the building. So maybe they could work something out with Smith, but he does want to play somewhere."
Smith threw six touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight appearances this season. After nearly having to amputate his leg due to a serious infection following a gruesome injury in November 2018, Smith completed a miraculous comeback to help the Burgundy and Gold win the NFC East.
Smith is slated to make $18.75 million next season, but given his injury history, Washington may be hesitant to carry the $24.4 million cap hit, the most of any player on the team, next season. Smith had a frustrating end to his comeback season, missing three games including the NFC Wild Card playoff loss to the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a calf injury suffered in Week 14.
If Smith opted to retire, his contract would cost Washington a cap hit of $10.8 million, which the franchise could then spread out over a few years. That could be renegotiated since his final two years of his deal aren't guaranteed.
Smith's injury history means it'll be unlikely any team engages Washington in a trade, meaning retirement or a potential release could be Washington's only options if it really doesn't want Smith.