Alex Smith may have taken an important step toward returning to the NFL after being cleared by a personal doctor to resume football activities, but the Washington Football Team has already had a plan in place at quarterback for over a year.
According to NBC Sports Washington analyst and former Washington Pro Bowler Brian Mitchell, the future under center in D.C. belongs Dwayne Haskins if he can seize the opportunity in front of him.
"What I've heard from [head coach] Ron Rivera is this: All options are going to always be in play," Mitchell said. "You look at a man [in Smith] who's 36 years old. You look at a man who's came off a very, very serious injury. You have to start weighing the options. Are you going to put your future in that or are you going to put your future in a guy that may be able to be a guy for the next 10-15 years?
"I think it's going to come down to the progression of Dwayne Haskins. If Haskins is moving in the right direction, I think he's going to be the guy. But if he's struggling, you can take that time a little bit with Alex or something like that and then you can see Dwayne come in and take over."
If Haskins does prove to be capable of holding down the starting job, Smith could present Washington with an intriguing trade candidate as he inches closer to a return. But for now, Mitchell expects a Smith to take plenty of time getting back into playing shape.
"Alex Smith coming into the fray, it's a plus. It's a positive," Mitchell said. "But still, it's a long way to go to get back on the football field and be a football player."
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