Ron Rivera: Alex Smith’s leadership was a key factor in making the playoffs

Washington released quarterback Alex Smith on Friday, a move that has been expected for the last week.

The Football Team confirmed the news with a statement from head coach Ron Rivera, thanking the quarterback for his time with the organization.

“I had a chance to meet with Alex Smith this week and we had a very honest and real discussion,” Rivera said. “We had the chance to reflect on the 2020 season and talk about moving forward into next year. After the conclusion of that meeting we decided that it would be best for both parties to move on and will be granting Alex his request to be released. I want to thank Alex for his contributions this past year. He made such an impact on our young roster and his leadership was one of the key factors in our late-season success and in making the playoffs for the fist time since 2015. Everyone here in Washington wishes Alex and his family the best going forward and appreciates all that he gave to our organization.”

Smith was the AP comeback player of the year after coming back from the devastating leg injury that cost him the entire 2019 season. Smith has said that he feels he still has a lot of room to grow on the field, though he has not formally announced plans to play in 2021.

The quarterback appeared in eight 2020 games, starting six. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. Smith did not play in Washington’s postseason loss to Tampa Bay with a calf injury.