I’ll give my football team this much: we don’t do anything subtle.
The bolt-from-the-sky news of the Alex Smith trade on Tuesday night has put a jolt into not just the DC market for sports radio (“Take” Forecast: Snowmaggedon!) but it has energized the upcoming free agency period and put the Super Bowl below the fold (at least for a day).
On the whole…. it’s… well… okay. I guess.
Grading the trade, depends entirely upon your backstory narrative on how we got to this point. Whose “fault” was it that Kirk Cousins refused to sign a “reasonable” deal for the last two off-seasons?
If you think the Redskins did their level best to keep a “Good+” QB coming into his prime, but were stymied by an obstinate (principled?) firebrand hellbent on being the “Tag-Slayer” – then this deal was a reasonable escape.
If you think the Redskins blindly refused to accept market realities for starting QBs, and cynically kept moving the goal-line on Kirk’s big payday – all the while reminding him in subtle ways about how he still disappoints them – then this deal was another panicked Redskins debacle.
Alex Smith is a high character guy, who I think will play well in this league deep into his 30’s. Any comparison of the last time we bought a horse from The Andy Reid Ranch, should stop right now. Donovan McNabb lasted less than one year here, was traded to Minnesota for a 6th (Alfred Morris! DING!) started 6 games, went 1-5, and then was OUT of the NFL at 35 years old. McNabb then ballooned up to nearly 300 pounds, racked up two DUIs, and was fired from ESPN for allegations of sexual harassment.
This is not going to be Alex Smith.
Smith means the Redskins will have a season next year, and a team to care properly about for the foreseeable future. This should not be discounted. Hell hath no waiting room of misery, quite like an NFL franchise without a bonafide starting QB.
That said…. this deal by Bruce Allen is almost exactly like something “Jerry from Arlington on Line 3” could have proposed to me on my radio show. It’s a retail-price-plus lateral move, that reeks of fantasy football. Sure, Alex’s stats looked almost identical to Kirk this year.
Good luck replicating that with our guys in a darker shade of red. Heck, odds are Smith’s career season last year, will remain just that until he’s no longer in the league: a career season. Smith had Kareem Hunt, Tyreke Hill, and Travis Kelce last season. Kirk had Fat Rob, Josh Doctson, and an injured side portion of Jordan Reed.
The money for Smith is not insignificant. Sure, it’s likely 15% less than the ransomware number Kirk was going to ask for, but you aren’t gaining much salary cap speed with this move.
The kicker – and kick to the ribs – was losing slot-corner up-and-comer Kendall Fuller. While we shouldn’t over-react as if we are giving up Deion Sanders 2.0, it hurts to take your best value pick in many years and shipping him to KC just to salvage Bruce’s 2 year losing streak at the Kirk Roulette table.
Ultimately, as a Redskins fan, I’ll fall in line behind Alex Smith because what choice do I have? As for Kirk himself, my goodness. It’s breathtaking. He has pulled off the NFL equivalent of Ocean’s 11. Two years at $44M, and now unfettered free agency at age 29, with no less than 5 teams who will load the boat to go get him. And GOOD TEAMS TOO! (Think: Denver, Minnesota, Jacksonville!)
As Walter White said after blowing off Gus Fring’s face in Breaking Bad: “It’s over… I won.”
— Steve Czaban (@czabe) January 31, 2018