The Jacksonville Jaguars need to find a franchise quarterback, but they also need someone who can assist him in his development and the right mentor might be available soon in the open market, as the Washington Football Team is expected to release 14-year veteran Alex Smith, who knows head coach Urban Meyer from his time at Utah.
The Football Team is expected to part ways with Smith in the coming days, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. By moving on from him, Washington will free up $14.7 million in cap space with an $8.6 million dead money hit. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Utah product recently confided Clay Skipper of GQ that he didn’t feel overly welcome last season when he told the team he intended to play after missing the 2019 season with a gruesome leg injury.
Smith will hit the open market for the first time in his career. The first overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft, he spent the first seven years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. He was dealt once again, to the Football Team this time, in 2018. At 36, Smith believes he can still play, and nobody should doubt him after recovering from the broken leg he suffered in 2018.
Alex Smith would bring intangible value to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meyer was the Utes in the last two years of Smith’s college career, so the connection is there. The consensus around the league is that the quarterback is a great leader and has previously helped mentor young signal-callers, Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco and Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.
However, there’s a hurdle the Jaguars’ brass would need to overcome, Smith wants to play and that may not be possible in Jacksonville, as the team has likely earmarked the first overall selection to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
As admirable and inspiring as Smith’s return to the field was (he was the NFL’s 2020 Comeback Player of the Year), his best days are behind him. Last season, he went 168-of-252 for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. It’s understandable he still wants to start but his value may be off the field and that’s something that could be difficult to convey when asking him to join the Jaguars in a coaching role rather than as a player.
Bringing in Smith would ensure the Jaguars franchise quarterback has a heck of a mentor. However, it shouldn’t come at the expense of the quarterback position and if he still wants to play, he may be better off signing somewhere else. Meyer and the team’s brass will have to think this one through.