ASHBURN, Va. -- The long-expected news is here and now it is official as we wrote this week and have been mentioning for weeks.
The Washington Football Team officially parted ways with the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Alex Smith, a source confirmed to Washington Football on SI.com.
Let's make one thing clear off the top: This has absolutely zero to do with the controversial GQ interview that popped up last week, in which Smith criticized the organization for its approach to his comeback.
READ MORE: Alex Smith's Controversial GQ Interview
This decision was essentially made in December and only further strengthened by Smith's lack of availability for the wild-card playoff game against the eventual champion Bucs.
And there's this from the organization and head coach Ron Rivera.
Smith wasn't born yesterday. He knew there was really no choice here for 2021 so by asking for and getting his release Friday almost two weeks in advance of free agency league wide, he might be able to lock a job up before other quarterbacks can.
Washington has already re-signed Taylor Heinicke, and Kyle Allen is an exclusive rights free agent expected to return in 2021. Steven Montez is still under contract as well.
Smith missed the Seattle and Carolina regular-season games plus a little more than half of the win against San Francisco. He returned for the Week 17 division-clinching win and led Washington on a touchdown drive to open the game, and to close the first half, before struggling with his right leg in the second half.
The writing has been all over the wall. Coach Ron Rivera tried to be diplomatic but it was impossible to ignore his messaging.
Washington, in its view, can't count on Smith even at a reduced salary cap figure because of health, age and limited mobility.
The WFT now stands to have a dead cap hit of approximately $8.6 million in 2021 to get out of the remaining two years of Smith's non-guaranteed contract that had two years left on it.