Is Alex Smith the Answer to New England Patriots’ Quarterback Struggles?

Published 03/02/2021, 8:16 PM EST
Nov 8, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) attempts a pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


Against all odds, veteran NFL quarterback Alex Smith made a miraculous return to the football field last year. After spending almost 2 years on the sidelines, Smith replaced injured Washington Football Team quarterback Kyle Allen in the Week 5 loss to Los Angeles Rams. He was later announced as a starter in Week 10.

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Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) looks to pass during the first half against the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Smith finished the 2020 NFL season with a 5-1 record, throwing for 1,582 passing yards with 6 passing touchdowns. He was unlucky to miss out on the Wild Card Playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to an injury.

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But now having ended his 3-year association with the Washington Football Team, the 36-year-old will be a free agent for the first time in his career.

So what lies ahead for NFL’s 2020 Comeback Player of the Year awardee?

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Does a short-term move to New England make sense for Alex Smith?

One of the potential destinations to emerge for Smith is Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots in the AFC East. The former first overall pick told GQ in a recent interview that he still intends to continue playing.

“I made a ton of gains through the year, and I still feel like I have more left to go gain. I still feel like there’s stuff for me to go get out there, and get better. But this offseason, there’s a bunch I want to go do off the field.

“But football-wise, I got more left. I got more to get there, too. So I really do really wanna get in the meat of this offseason and see where I’m at and push it,” Smith said earlier this month.

Nov 26, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith (58) and Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

However, the odds are stacked against the aging quarterback. He had one of the worst statistical numbers for a quarterback last season.

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Smith was near the bottom of the league in yards per attempt (31st), passer rating (31st), and interception percentage (32nd). He also threw shorter passes than any other quarterback in the league.

It would make more sense for the Patriots to stick with Cam Newton instead of bringing in someone like Smith. Of course, the latter can still serve as a mentor in New England if they were to bring in a young quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Patriots can also choose to move in for other free agents in the quarterback pool, including Dak Prescott, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jacoby Brissett, Mitchell Trubisky, Andy Dalton, and Tyrod Taylor.

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Daniel Arambur

1594 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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