For most teams in the NFL, the acquisition of Alex Smith would be welcome news. For the Washington Redskins however, it simply restates the lack of a long-term vision for the franchise. After totally failing to come to any agreement with current quarterback, Kirk Cousins, the Redskins have traded away a key performer from their defense along with a third-round pick in order to receive another system quarterback.

Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith are system quarterbacks. This means that in order for them to be successful, they need solid contribution from other players on the team. Neither of the two have the ability to consistently create something from nothing like the elite class of QB’s in the NFL. For a Washington team that ranked 21st in total defense and 28th in rushing yards last season, trading away one of their few high-potential defenders for a system QB seems irrational.

In the NFL, there are undoubtedly various tiers of QB talent. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers headline the top tier of QB’s that seem to dominate almost despite team contribution. After those players, there is the class of QB’s like Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton. These players occasionally show the ability to dominate for a season, or look incredible through a string of games. Even below that, you have the group of players that simply do their job effectively and are sometimes able to play above their own standards– this is the home of both Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith.

Blowback from players within the Redskins organization has also been a part of the ordeal that unfolded on Tuesday night. Multiple players have come out saying that they are not thrilled about the decision to move CB Kendall Fuller. In just two seasons, Fuller had established himself as a solid slot defender. Last season, he even accrued more interceptions than the Redskins highly paid star Josh Norman. Fuller is the type of player that smart franchises value very highly. Young, improving, and cheap, Fuller should have been at the forefront of what a directionless team like the Washington Redskins were doing.

The point of this article is not to say that Alex Smith is a bad QB because that is not the truth. The Redskins are getting a more than capable player who is a great decision maker in the pocket. Last year, Smith threw only five interceptions throughout the entire regular season. The problem lies in the lack of direction from the Redskins ownership. This move seems incredibly short-sighted and rooted solely in panic about next season. The team traded away a solid defensive asset in order to acquire a QB that is older, and has eerily similar production to that of the one they jogged out last season.

At this point, the likelihood of the Redskins receiving anything for Kirk Cousins is small. After multiple years and millions of dollars in investment, the Redskins have no choice but to let him walk away. In a league where a player like Cousins could have a dramatic impact on various teams, it’s simply inexcusable for things to shake out the way that they have in Washington. Along with cementing Alex Smith, the decision makers in Washington have cemented more years of the same mediocrity for their organization.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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