Early in the offseason, the Washington Redskins made the decision to move on from quarterback Kirk Cousins by acquiring another Pro Bowler in Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith's status as the long-term answer under center was solidified by the decision to ink him to a four-year, $84 million extension.
Since the move, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has been quite clear about his feelings regarding his former quarterback. Gruden once again voiced that on Tuesday by stating that the team has “without a doubt” improved at the position with Smith on board, according to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network.
Asked #Redskins coach Jay Gruden if his team got better at the QB position. Says “without a doubt.” Then explains, not to compare Cousins to Smith, but based on Smith’s credentials, they definitely improved there, which is the goal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 27, 2018
Smith may have earned the reputation as being one of the better quarterbacks in the league, Gruden's comments will undoubtedly be perceived as a slight toward Cousins. It has exactly been a clean break off as there has been some disgruntlement from the Redskins due to the lack of long-term commitment that the 29-year-old had with the franchise after being placed on the franchise tag two years in a row.
That said, Smith has polished his career into being a highly dependable quarterback over the last several years with much of that success during his five-year tenure with the Chiefs. This featured four playoff appearances with a pair of AFC West division titles along with winning double-digit games in the regular season all but once. Smith also had much individual success earning all three of his career Pro Bowl selections and is coming off his best statistical campaign with career highs across the board with 4,042 passing yards with 26 touchdowns to just five interceptions while holding a league-best 104.7 passer rating
The 33-year-old has proven to be more than a capable quarterback throughout the latter half of his career that could translate to leading the Redskins to success next season and possibly beyond that. Nonetheless, this was simply another opportunity for Gruden to get another verbal slight at Cousins.