The Redskins made a laughably bad trade that was widely pilloried Tuesday, agreeing to a deal to trade a 3rd round pick and versatile cornerback Kendall Fuller to the Kansas City Chiefs for Alex Smith.
But fear not, Redskins fans – you can still hope that your inept front office pulls out of the trade! It can’t be complete until 3 pm on March 14, so assuming paperwork hasn’t been submitted, and it’s not a binding contract, Washington has six weeks to re-think this.
There is some free agency precedent for reneging on a deal, though these aren’t apples to apples: In 2015, Frank Gore agreed to sign a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles; days later, he backed out of the deal and went to the Colts. In 2004, the 49ers dealt Terrell Owens to the Ravens, but he protested the deal, the union got involved, and Owens ended up with the Eagles.
[Aside: If you’re wondering about the value of Kendall Fuller in the trade … the guy who drafted him in Washington said he would have “never” traded Fuller.]
And if you’re wondering why the Chiefs didn’t trade Smith to the Browns … well, they apparently tried, but the Redskins made a better offer.
The reason Redskins fans are outraged about the deal is because of the rumored $71 million guaranteed to Alex Smith. He turns 34 in May. Smith had a very good season handing off to the NFL’s leading rusher (Kareem Hunt) and throwing to the tight end who led the NFL in receptions (Travis Kelce).
In Washington, the Redskins have done a running back by committee, and tight end Jordan Reed has only started 24 games in the last four years, largely due to concussions.
It’s unclear why Daniel Snyder’s team loves to chase QBs who are in their mid 30s. First, it was Mark Brunell, who arrived in Washington at 34, and then won a playoff game at 35. (To be fair, that defense carried them in 2005. The secondary featured Sean Taylor, Ryan Clark, Shawn Springs, and a young Carlos Rogers.)
Then came Donovan McNabb, who also showed up at 34, but flopped spectacularly in 2010.
Smith will probably fall somewhere in between, though it’s hard to imagine Smith getting this team to the playoffs in a division featuring Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. Of course free agency and the draft could change things, but the Redskins didn’t improve with this trade.
Redskins fans have to hope their front office wisens up and backs out the deal. It’d make more sense to fortify the defense in free agency, tank for the year, and make a run at finding a QB in the draft. Notice I didn’t say trading up for a QB. Just drafting one. Colt McCoy probably gets you 4-5 wins, and you have a Top 7 pick.
Alex Smith would get you closer to 7-8 wins, and a pick in the 10-15 range.