As the Washington Redskins again make a big off-season move, Christian Burt goes Skin Deep with a snap judgement on the Redskins securing the now former Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith to play under centre for the next 3-4 years in the nations capital…
A Price to Pay
At no point of the Kirk Cousins contract saga did the future of Kendall Fuller even tickle my psyche.
Last night, however, Washington made a very Dan Snyder-era statement with the acquisition of QB Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs. Tied up in the deal is the trade of Fuller to Kansas and also includes a Redskins third rounder in 2018. That pick, however, evens out in 2019, so essentially the player trade deal in place is Fuller for Smith.
On the surface, perhaps to many on the outside who aren’t that aware of Fuller, the deal is decent – the Redskins have essentially cut through the “will he, won’t he” LTD Kirk predicament and made solid the most difficult position in the game. It’ll come at a cap cost, with around £70 million touted over four years, but that pales in comparison to the likely dollar that Cousins will make in Denver, with the Jets or Bills or wherever he lands.
The price to pay however is steep in terms of losing a currently cheap extremely high upside CB, in the talented Fuller. Kendall absolutely excelled in the slot corner role in 2017 and, for once, predictions of a Redskin near future All-Pro were entirely with foundation.
Fuller was near enough my Washington MVP in 2017, just behind Chris Thompson, and I am damn gutted to see the 22 year old depart so early in his Skins career (and most of this former team mates were even more head shaking on social media).
How did Washington arrive at this juncture?
The Redskins dropped the football badly with a decidedly low-ball offer to Cousins two years ago after he’d shone in leading Washington to the play-offs. It took a special QB in Aaron Rodgers to stop that the Skins that season and the general feeling is that the Front Office of DC wasn’t going to go all-in for a QB they privately, and gradually publicly, rated as ‘good but not great’.
Cousins was the ultimate professional in Washington; if anything it was perhaps his lack of excitability that prevented the entire fan-base of D.C from getting fully behind the likeable QB. Statistically Cousins was top drawer, breaking Franchise records and providing solidity in Washington that ominously didn’t fit with the “swing for homers” Snyder & Allen mind-set.
That slightly clinical iceman perception of Cousins perhaps isn’t entirely justified. But in the back of my thoughts was always the feeling that Kirk had been handed this out of this world LTD opportunity due to a weird mixture of Washington Front Office incompetence and, without letting them off the hook, a partly understandable desire for a longer look at the QB position.
And what next for the Redskins?
My first thought was the Draft and I’d love the situation of an outstanding rookie CB to be available at #13. Alternatively, do what Kansas have done and have a quality rookie QB sit and learn for 2 seasons! The loss of Fuller is understandably leaving the Skins fan-base reeling , but Smith does have the calibre (and certainly better play extension than KC) to get the B&G hearts pounding.
There are some positive thoughts ahead for 2018. We cannot forget that the Redskins roster was decimated by injuries last season – how could Washington fare with a healthy post-surgery LT Trent Williams and a healed Jon Allen and Matt Ioannidis along the Defensive Line. Maybe that pick at thirteen could be well spent on Vita Vea as a true NT?
My ultimate quick snap message: the Redskins have sorted out the QB saga in a balls out manner with Smith. It’s aggressive but with a really tough pill to swallow. I’d never have guessed I’d be yearning the loss of such an outstanding young talent at CB.