SNIDER: Redskins need more transparency over Alex Smith

Rick Snider
December 06, 2018 - 6:07 pm

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Once more, there is a smoke screen surrounding the Washington Redskins. No one's fooled this time, though.

Quarterback Alex Smith has asked for privacy from his hospital bed after suffering a probable career-ending injury that reportedly involves serious complications. A press release said thanks for thinking of him, but go away.

Certainly, Smith has every right to seek solitude. He's going through a tough time and doesn't need people bugging him. Having been through a near fatal heart problems myself, I understand Smith's mindset and pray he'll be fine.

But signing on as a pro athlete means privacy is largely abandoned in exchange for a king's ransom. People want to know the details, given the Redskins quarterback is often the second-most important job in town and sometimes even more so than the guy in the Oval Office. Indeed, Bill Clinton once joked a Redskins passer playing poorly gave the public someone else to ridicule than the president.

This is a big story because the Redskins must now find Smith's replacement this spring. They're back in the draft game and probably hunting for someone in the first round who probably doesn't belong there. That or overpay to move up. In hindsight, the smarter option was not to trade for Smith last year and sign him to a mega-extension, but instead try the draft overflowing with quarterback prospects. But, there's no going back to that.

The Redskins need to blow everything up. A new general manager, new coach and new quarterback, so that hopefully they grow the team together instead of being on different wavelengths. Whether owner Dan Snyder is willing to make such massive changes is doubtful. Then again, maybe two final home games with nobody in the stands will change his mind.

Redskins fan invest more than money. Many invest their souls in this franchise that doesn't love it back. At least not beyond their wallets. If the team was smart, more information would flow over Smith's condition. Control the message rather than let the media run with it. Smith often said little during weekly press conferences, but it's time to reveal some basics to satisfy the crowd and hopefully he can recover in peace.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks