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Acquiring Alex Smith a mistake for struggling Redskins

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The Redskins logo appears on a shirt.

The Redskins logo appears on a shirt.

John Breeden

John Breeden

The Redskins logo appears on a shirt.

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Finally the ongoing saga of the Washington Redskins and quarterback, Kirk Cousins, has come to an end. After being the first quarterback in NFL history to be franchise tagged two years in a row, Cousins decided his time in Washington was done and signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings for $84 million. For the Redskins, they needed a new quarterback. They ended up signing former San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, 33-year-old Alex Smith. Smith is a three-time Pro Bowler, and while this seems like a good idea, I don’t think it will exceed expectations.

As an avid Redskins fan, I was somewhat disappointed to see this. While Smith is a well-accomplished QB, they should’ve held onto Cousins and given him the proper, long-term contract. When the RG3 era of Washington finally crumbled after 2014, Cousins took the role as starting QB. In 2015, he was ranked 12th overall in the league for passing, won the NFC East title and took the Redskins to playoffs with a 9-7 record. Although they’d eventually get pounded by the Green Bay Packers in the first round, it was Washington’s first trip to the playoffs since 2012. In 2016, Cousins would be ranked sixth among quarterbacks, topping big-time names like Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, and Matt Ryan. Despite not going to the playoffs, they still managed to have a reasonable 8-7-1 record.

Things would be slightly different in 2017. The Redskins would lose their main receivers, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson during the offseason. With a season that was plagued by numerous injuries to the defensive side, Cousins was still able to put up good numbers and would be ranked 8th among quarterbacks. The Redskins closed out the season with a 7-9 record. With Garcon and Jackson still on the team, I believe they would’ve won the Redskins at least two or three more games last year.

So with Cousins gone, Smith will come in and try to lead this team. Although his accolades make him look like a superstar in D.C., it’s not going to be the case come September. Unlike Cousins, Smith has some mileage on him in the NFL. He is entering his 13th year in the NFL, while Cousins is entering just his seventh, and only his fourth year as a starter. I don’t think it matters how old you are, the number of grinding, gruesome seasons in the NFL add up on a player’s mind and body. With Smith’s history of concussions and shoulder injuries, I don’t think he’s the one to rely on to stay healthy, unlike Cousins, who’s only had a minor foot injury back in 2013.

The other thing the Redskins need to watch is the hype. They can’t get caught up in the excitement of a new player, and expect spectacular things from them immediately. The same thing has happened when they’ve had QBs like Donovan McNabb, RG3, and you may even add Cousins to the list. The coaches and fans all cling to the newest guy and think they’re going all the way to the Super Bowl, and unfortunately, we’re still waiting to see just a halfway-decent playoff run from them.

I have a feeling that the Smith-Redskins combo aren’t going to go very far. Sure he’s a good quarterback, and they’ve also recently signed former Seahawks wide-receiver, Paul Richardson, who’s a very capable player and looking to put his name on the map. While that’s all fine and dandy, I believe the hype in Washington will be too much for Smith and he’ll most likely put up mediocre stats. Unfortunately for the entire Skins fanbase, this isn’t “the year” for the Redskins to get back to the playoffs, much less get back to the old glory days of 1992 and win the Super Bowl.

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Acquiring Alex Smith a mistake for struggling Redskins