MHB On The Alex Smith Trade

Washington Redskins v Kansas City Chief
The Kirk Cousins saga in Washington has virtually come to an end with the Redskins trading for Alex Smith.

Just like anything and everything in the sports world, something happens and millions of people weigh in with their knee jerk reaction hot takes. The Washington Redskins trading for Alex Smith last night has been no different. Lots of hot garbage online and the sports talk airwaves today regarding Alex Smith in the burgundy and gold. Now I’m gonna add my two cents…

When I heard the news last night, I wasn’t jumping for joy by any means. But I didn’t want to pan the deal just to pan it or because of any stigma the name Alex Smith carries. Frankly, Kirk Cousins carries a similar stigma with his name and I don’t believe it’s deserved. I’ve heard various ESPN radio personalities say today that these two quarterbacks are interchangeable. Siting how similar Smith’s and Cousins’ stat lines are over the past few seasons. Ugh!!! That is just the laziest analysis. Anyway…

Over the past 2 seasons the Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins after not being able to agree on a long-term deal. Whether it was the right move or not will be forever debated. But the Redskins definitely presented a hand that was not pro-Kirk. The trade for Alex Smith says one thing to me loud and clear. It is what all Redskins fans thought, but could never get any real confirmation on, which is the Washington Redskins never had any intention of hitching their wagon to Kirk Cousins.

Cousins and Alex Smith may have similar stat lines, but I feel they took different routes to arrive at those places. And by that I’m referring to skill players each had around them, specifically regarding the 2017 season. Cousins dealt with a severely scaled back skilled position group and injury riddled offensive line. Smith enjoyed playing with multiple explosive breakout stars with Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt and had a career year because of it. Those facts don’t always show up when you look at football reference.

I truly believe the ceiling is higher for Kirk between these two players, which isn’t ground breaking by any means. I believe most people who care feel that way. But after letting the acquisition of Alex Smith settle in my mind for a day, I find myself wondering if getting Alex Smith is exactly what I wanted?

I say that because I’ve been waiting for Jay Gruden to actually rely on the rushing attack for the last 3 seasons. Does bringing Alex Smith to the Redskins mean a balanced offensive attack regarding the playcalling? If so, I like it. And by “I like it,” I mean I love it.

Chris Thompson emerged as a HUGE threat for the Skins before going down for the season, whether in the run game or catching passes out of the backfield, he established himself as a premier offensive weapon. Once fat Rob Kelley flamed out (finally), Samaje Perine stepped in and stepped up. Between Thompson and Perine I’m looking for huge output between the two next season. Add in the mobility of Alex Smith and things get real interesting.

A big reason I wanted Kirk back next year was Josh Doctson. Doctson showed me signs that he is going to be a top tier down field threat. And I dig Kirk’s deep ball. I thought the two of them were finally hitting their stride by seasons end. Alex Smith is not widely regarded for having a huge downfield attack with his overall approach or his arm. But with the running game I hope Jay Gruden maximizes, I think it will make Doctson, and Alex Smith’s reliance on Doctcon downfield when he chooses, that much more important.

So, what do I make of the Redskins making the move for Alex Smith? I think the Skins are better for it.

I applaud the Redskins for making the move to not sign Kirk if they didn’t truly believe it. I applaud the Redskins for seeking out a QB that will provide the Redskins a chance to contend in the NFC East in the here and now with Alex Smith. A QB that they can pay and still have money to add pieces where needed. Unlike the Ravens and Flacco, Lions with Stafford, etc…

The Redskins faithful have alot to look forward to once the 2018 season rolls around. And I’m saying that before the draft… just wait til the draft results are in!

Hail to the Redskins!

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