Current Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered one of the more brutal and horrific injuries the league has seen over the past decade. In Week 11 of the 2018 season, Smith broke his the tibia and fibula in his right leg. He has not played since, and many speculated at the time that his career could be over.
Smith, however, doesn’t seem interested in retirement — he seems interested in recovery. In November, one year after his terrible injury, Smith’s wife Elizabeth posted a video on Instagram that chronicled the year Smith had, with a focus on his rehabilitation. Smith, while certainly not in football shape, has made vast strides in his recovery, and it shows. Now, 13 months into his recovery, Smith told the media Monday that he wants to play football again “without a doubt.”
“I still have dreams of getting back to where I was and getting back out there,” Smith said. “This has been obviously a crazy ride with a lot of unforeseen turns, but without a doubt that’s still my goal.”
Whether or not Smith is able to play the quarterback position again remains to be seen, but his efforts are nothing short of inspiring. And his potential return also has the media that cover one specific team crossing their fingers, hoping for the possibility that he could maybe, possibly, play for their team next year.
That team is the Chicago Bears, who are coached by Matt Nagy — a coach whom Smith had his best statistical seasons playing for.
Bears Beat Writers Think Alex Smith is a Realistic Option for the Bears
Bill Zimmerman and Lester A. Wiltfong Jr., writers for Windy City Gridiron, both took to Twitter Monday in response to Smith’s declaration to note that should Smith play football in 2020, the Bears would be the perfect landing spot for him. Wiltfong, who is also the editor-in-chief at Windy City Gridiron, suggested Smith would be a great fit for the Bears.
Another writer who covers the Bears, Jonathan Wood, noted that Zimmerman is a connected and reliable source, and would not likely publicly tweet about something that had zero merit:
After a subpar season that saw the entire offense (save Allen Robinson) regress, Bears starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky did not take the step up many hoped he would take. Trubisky led an anemic offense that scored just 17.5 points a game, which was the third-lowest average in the league.
Is Alex Smith Even an Option for the Bears in 2020?
Put simply, if Smith is in football shape and can play the position well, he is an absolute possibility for the Chicago Bears in 2020. Per Jonathan Wood, Smith is due $16 million in 2020, and he has team options for both the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Considering both Cam Newton and Nick Foles have been names brought up as veteran possibilities in Chicago next year, Smith would be cheaper and/or comparable to both, and he has major connections to the Bears current head coach.
With Nagy as his offensive coordinator in 2017 with the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith had the best season of his career, throwing for 4,042 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions, finishing the year with a 104.7 rating. In fact, the numbers Smith and Nagu had in five years with the Chiefs are pretty spectacular. Smith had 122 touchdowns to just 33 interceptions, completing 65.1% of his passes for 17,608 yards.
Sure, his injury leaves HUGE question marks, and if he’s not fully healthy or able to play the position, the Bears should not sign him. But if he recovers and is capable of playing, it would be negligent of the Bears to not take a long look at him.
Current Bears backup Chase Daniel will likely be gone in 2020, and Smith would be a reliable player and an excellent veteran presence for the struggling Trubisky to work with and learn from.