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Report: Washington Will Be "Pleasantly Surprised" If Alex Smith Is Ready To Play Next Season

Photo: Mark Tenally (AP Photo)

Washington is going into its offseason preparations with the expectation that starting quarterback Alex Smith will not be available to play next year, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

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It’s not clear whether this is a result of the team acting cautiously with the injury, Smith needing the extra time because of complications during his recovery process, or some combination of the two. Regardless, the extra year off shouldn’t come as a surprise. On top of the fact that Smith is 34 years old, and that Washington is on the hook for the remaining four years and $22.1 million in bonuses on his contract, the former first-overall pick had to deal with an infection after his surgery that kept him hospitalized for quite some time.

Smith didn’t make a public appearance until Jan. 21, when he was spotted at a Wizards home game with an external fixator and cast on his leg.

Washington is now left without a competent starting quarterback for next season. The question now becomes: where should it look to get one? With a shallow talent pool at quarterback, and plenty of other positional needs that have to be taken care of, it’s not likely that the team will look to find its replacement in April. Sounds like Washington’s best bet is to look for a skilled veteran free agent that has experience running an offense and taking over for Alex Smith. I wonder who could fit that description.

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