Alex Smith’s Contract: How Much Are the Redskins Still Paying the Quarterback?

Alex Smith

Getty Alex Smith #11 of the Washington Redskins.

Two years ago, the Redskins made a trade for Alex Smith. The franchise gave up Kendall Fuller (who has since come back to the team) and a 2018  third-round pick (DT Malik Jefferson, who was drafted by the Bengals via the pick that the Chiefs traded).

Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury during the 10th game of the 2018 season and hasn’t played since. Because of complications, which include 17 surgeries, in his recovery, it would be a surprise if he plays again.

Washington is still paying the quarterback. The Skins inked Smith, who had one year left on his contract at the time of the trade, to an extension worth $94 million over four years back in 2018. Of that amount, $27 million was the signing bonus, as Spotrac relays.

Alex Smith Contract Base Salary Signing Bonus
2020 $16,000,000 $5,400,000
2021 $19,000,000 $5,400,000
2022 $21,000,000 $5,400,000

The Redskins have a potential out in 2021, as they could release Smith and it would count toward $10,800,000 in dead money on their cap, according to Spotrac. That seems like the more logical route given the 35-year-old’s injury woes.

Washington Played Well Under Smith

Smith, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, brought the Redskins to a level of competence.

The team was 6-3 heading into the game against the Houston Texans where Smith broke his leg. The QB had racked up wins over the Packers, Cowboys, and still-in-his-prime Cam Newton prior to the injury and the team notched just one more win down the stretch without Smith.

The Seattle-native tossed 10 touchdowns vs. just five picks and accumulated 2180 passing yards during the 2018 season. In his career, which includes long stints in San Francisco and Kansas City in addition to Washington, Smith has thrown for 193 touchdowns and just 101 interceptions. He has a record of 96-66-1 (yes, a tie).

Redskins’ Current QB Core

The Redskins drafted Dwyane Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 draft. However, despite the investment, new coach Ron Rivera has preached open competition.

“Quarterback is a position you’ve got to have competition in,” new coach Ron Rivera said during the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this offseason. “Very competitive competition.”

Haskins’ grip on the role isn’t much tighter than his spiral. The raw stats can tell you that his rookie season was meh. Seven touchdowns with seven interceptions; 56.8 completion percentage; 6.7 Yards/attempt. Even the most optimistic forecast couldn’t look at his season and see a ceiling any higher than this generation’s Jay Cutler.

The club brought in Kyle Allen via a trade with the Panthers, giving Carolina a fifth-round pick.

Allen started 12 games under Rivera last season and he looked like a gem early, throwing seven touchdowns and no interceptions during his first four starts. Yet, he threw just 10 more TDs down the stretch but peppered in 16 interceptions. Allen and Haskins will likely compete to be the Day 1 starter.

The team flirted with Jameis Winston before the former No. 1 overall pick inked a deal with the Saints. Rivera recently said he’s thought about Cam Newton as an addition, though because of the salary they are still paying Smith, it seems unlikely that the franchise spends any more resources at the position.

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