Washington expected to part ways with QB Alex Smith

Alex Smith's incredible comeback proved to be his last hurrah in the nation's capital.

Washington is expected to part ways with the veteran quarterback in the coming days, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Kim Jones reported Monday, per informed sources.

Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in 2018 and underwent 17 operations to initially repair and later save his leg from amputation, missing all of 2019 before overcoming all realistic expectations to make his return in 2020. Smith posted a 5-1 record as a starter this season, helping lead Washington to an unlikely playoff berth and earning AP Comeback Player of the Year honors.

In a recent interview with GQ, Smith remarked his unexpected return "definitely threw a wrench" in Washington's plan at the position. Though he proved to be the team's best option in a challenging and tumultuous season, Smith's days were likely numbered as soon as a new regime arrived to turn the franchise in a new direction.

The final few of those days are now directly ahead. The 36-year-old Smith still seems to have quality football left in him, though, and proved as much once he got his feet under him as a starter. A leg ailment unrelated to his significant past injury ended up sinking his chances of playing in the postseason, but when healthy, Smith is at the very least an adequate quarterback -- and there are at least a few teams in need of adequate, experienced quarterback play.

A reunion in Chicago with Matt Nagy -- Smith's former offensive coordinator in Kansas City -- could be ahead. A handful of other options might also await Smith. But as he's made clear this offseason, he intends to continue playing -- it just won't be in Washington.