Did Alex Smith just give a hint about his future?
The Washington quarterback told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday that he feels “emboldened” after his comeback season. Smith told reporters that he would take a few weeks to decide whether he wanted to retire or play football in 2021.
“This year has only emboldened for me that I can play at this level,” said Smith, who returned from the life-threatening leg injury he suffered more than two years ago.
In the “60 Minutes” piece, Smith did not explicitly say he wants to return next season. Smith turns 37 in May and is coming off a season in which he played in eight games to help Washington (7-9) make the playoffs. The 36-year-old, though, was hampered down the stretch with a calf injury that sidelined him for Washington‘s playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Smith and Washington coach Ron Rivera both hinted that the quarterback’s injury was more complicated than initially believed. On Sunday, CBS’ Norah O’Donnell referred to Smith‘s injury as a “bone bruise” on his surgically repaired right leg rather than a calf strain.
Smith said he understands the concern from people who were worried about him playing football.
Smith, of course, underwent 17 surgeries and went through a grueling rehab process in order to play football again.
“I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me — saying they feel like my mom when I’m playing,” Smith said with a laugh, “(with) how concerned they are for me.”
Smith‘s wife, Elizabeth, said she had the same apprehension, but added the comeback was bigger than football.
“It’s not about the game,” she said. “It’s about what happened and getting back on your feet, dusting yourself off, no matter what the obstacle is.”
If Smith wants to play in 2021, that could complicate Washington‘s quarterback picture. Smith is under contract for two more seasons, but Washington can save millions by cutting the three-time Pro Bowler. If released, only $8.6 million of Smith‘s contract would remain on the team’s books — whereas Smith carries an $18.8 million base salary if on the roster in 2021.
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