NFL

Rivera thanks Smith as Washington confirm release of quarterback

By Sports Desk March 05, 2021

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera praised Alex Smith for his impact on a young roster after the franchise confirmed the departure of the veteran quarterback.

Friday's announcement came as no surprise, considering there had been widespread reports of Smith's impending release at the start of the week.

The 36-year-old was pivotal in helping Washington rally from a 2-7 record to win the NFC East and qualify for the playoffs, throwing for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions after stepping in to take over as starter from Kyle Allen.

However, the former number one overall pick was sidelined by a calf issue for the Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Taylor Heinicke started instead and, having done well in his limited opportunities at the back end of the season, was handed a new two-year contract in February. 

Smith was voted as the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year by the Associated Press having recovered from a career-threatening leg injury to resume his career, though he is now looking for a new home after Washington agreed to cut him.

"I had a chance to meet with Alex Smith this week and we had a very honest and real discussion," Rivera said in a statement released by Washington. "We had the chance to reflect on the 2020 season and talk about moving forward into the next year. 

"After the conclusion of that meeting, we decided that it would be best for both parties to move on, and we will be granting Alex his request to be released. 

"I want to thank Alex for his contributions this past year. He made such an impact on our young roster and his leadership was one of the key factors in our late-season success, and in making the playoffs for the first time since 2015. 

"Everyone here in Washington wishes Alex and his family the best going forward and appreciates all that he gave to our organisation."

Smith, who previously played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, made clear in an interview with GQ last month that he intends to carry on playing in 2021, insisting he had "got more left" following his long road to recovery.

He underwent 17 operations and overcame sepsis after suffering a compound fracture injury to his right leg in a game against the Houston Texans in November 2018.

Related items

  • Tokyo Olympics: Ganna propels Italy to world record and another gold Tokyo Olympics: Ganna propels Italy to world record and another gold

    Filippo Ganna came up with the goods for Italy when it mattered most with a stunning display of power in the final laps of the men's team pursuit final.

    Italy clinched their sixth gold of the Tokyo Olympics by overcoming favourites Denmark in a thrilling race at the Izu Cycling Centre on Wednesday.

    Ganna, the reigning world time trial champion, proved decisive as he hit the front in the final 1,000 metres, with Italy gaining a second on Denmark to cross the line in 3:42.032 and claim their eighth Olympic title in the event.

    It marks a new world record and clocked in at almost eight seconds faster than Great Britain's winning time in Rio five years ago.

    Denmark had looked well set to prove their favourites credentials after a superb opening three kilometres, but they failed to replicate the power shown by Ganna in the final laps and lost by 0.166s.

    The Danes had overcome Team GB on Tuesday to make the final, albeit in contentious fashion, with lead rider Frederik Madsen crashing into the back of Charlie Tanfield.


    FINISHING WITH A FLOURISH

    Team GB had ultimately fallen foul of a somewhat controversial judging call, which meant they had to face off against Switzerland for a seventh-place finish.

    However, the outgoing champions recovered to cruise to victory, setting the fastest Olympic time by a British quartet in the process.

    "I wouldn't say a point to prove, we just wanted to go out on a positive note, not be disappointed because we had disappointment over the last few days and we wanted to overcome that, go out on a high and look forward to Paris," Oliver Wood told BBC Sport.

    There was drama in the bronze medal race too, as Australia triumphed in a trans-Tasman tussle with New Zealand, who had to forfeit when one of their riders fell as a consequence of an overlapping wheel.

    Australia have now won eight medals in the last 10 Olympic Games in the men's team pursuit, more than any other nation.


    SPRINTING THROUGH

    Team GB were able to get over their team disappointment with some fine individual showings from Jack Carlin and Jason Kenny in the men's sprint.

    Carlin set a new Olympic record in his first heat, only to qualify as the third fastest, and though he had to survive a wobble in his second race, he progressed safely through to the quarter-finals.

    He will be joined by Kenny, who showed typical tactical nous to surprise Yuta Wakimoto on the inside. World record holder Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago also progressed.

    The women's Keirin heats also took place, with the major favourites all making it through.

    Katy Marchant – a bronze medallist in Rio – had to do it the hard way, however, after she was relegated for an infringement in her first heat. The 28-year-old atoned in the repechage to take her place in the quarter-finals.

  • Cabrera edges closer to 500th career home run, Mookie takes special catch Cabrera edges closer to 500th career home run, Mookie takes special catch

    Miguel Cabrera moved closer to his 500th career home run with number 498 in the Detroit Tigers' 4-2 win against the Boston Red Sox.

    The 38-year-old designated hitter sent Garrett Richards over the fence at right-field with the Tigers trailing 2-0 in the second inning.

    The home run takes two-time American League MVP and 11-time All-Star Cabrera's 2021 majors tally to 11 homers, and 498 for his career.

    Akil Baddoo drove in Derek Hill's to make it 3-2 to the Tigers in the fifth inning, before Robbie Grossman brought Jonathan Schoop home for an RBI single and insurance run.

     

    Polanco's game to remember

    Gregory Polanco robbed Eduardo Escobar of a walk-off homer in the ninth inning before the Pittsburgh Pirates on 8-5 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    The catch capped a spectacular game for Polanco who brought up a no-hitter in the seventh inning by grounding a single, before the Pirates late rally.

    After a long lay-off, Hyun-Jin Ryu returned to the mound at home and tossed down eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Toronto Blue Jays won 7-2 over the Cleveland Indians.

    Bryce Harper homered in the eighth inning against his former club as the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Washington Nationals 5-4.

    Tommy Pham hit a lead-off home run, the fourth of the day, as the San Diego Padres won 8-1 at the Oakland Athletics.

     

    Five straight defeats for Red Sox

    The Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Tigers means they have lost five games in a row, including three against the Tampa Bay Rays, one against the Toronto Blue Jays (13-1) as well as Detroit. Boston are 63-45 and drop to second behind the Rays in the American League East.

     

    Another Mookie Betts special

    Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts pulled off a spectacular diving catch on the grass just outside the diamond to rob Michael Brantley of a hit. Only two days ago Betts pulled off another special grab against the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the record, the Dodgers lost 3-0 to the Houston Astros who improve to 64-42.

     

    Tuesday's results 

    Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Washington Nationals
    New York Yankees 13-1 Baltimore Orioles
    Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Cleveland Indians
    Detroit Tigers 4-2 Boston Red Sox
    Minnesota Twins 7-5 Cincinnati Reds
    Miami Marlins 5-4 New York Mets
    Seattle Mariners 4-2 Tampa Bay Rays 
    Los Angeles Angels 11-3 Texas Rangers
    Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5 Milwaukee Brewers
    Chicago White Sox 7-1 Kansas City Royals
    Atlanta Braves 6-1 St Louis Cardinals
    Colorado Rockies 13-6 Chicago Cubs
    Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 San Francisco Giants
    San Diego Padres 8-1 Oakland Athletics
    Houston Astros 3-0 Los Angeles Dodgers

     

    Padres at Athletics

    The San Diego Padres (62-47) continue their series against the Oakland Athletics (60-48).

  • Tokyo Olympics Recap: McLaughlin expected records to fall after Warholm run, teenagers dominate skateboarding Tokyo Olympics Recap: McLaughlin expected records to fall after Warholm run, teenagers dominate skateboarding

    Sydney McLaughlin admitted after watching Karsten Warholm's record-breaking men's 400m hurdles run she felt Wednesday's women's final could see records fall.

    McLaughlin smashed her own world record in her gold medal-winning time of 51.46, eclipsing her previous mark of 51.90.

    The American's run means both gold medal winners ran a world record in the women's 400m hurdles and men's 400m hurdles finals at Tokyo 2020.

    McLaughlin said she watched Warholm win the men's equivalent in 45.94, breaking his previous mark of 46.7, with amazement.

    "When I saw the time yesterday I was amazed but not surprised," she said. "I knew it was going to be a really fast race for them. It definitely shocked me and I thought tomorrow [Wednesday] is going to be something fast."

    In both 400m hurdles events, the silver medal winners ran faster than the old world record. All six medal winners ran faster than the previous Olympic records in these events.

    "I'd definitely say it's a fast track," McLaughlin said about Tokyo Olympic Stadium. "You can feel the difference. It's one of those tracks which gives you the energy."

    Silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad also broke the previous world record with 51.58, while Femke Bol from the Netherlands claimed bronze in 52.03 – a European record.

    "Anything is possible," McLaughlin said about future world records. "You have such an amazing field of women.

    "The more we race each other, anything is possible. Technically there's always more to improve upon. in terms of what's possible, it's completely limitless."

    McLaughlin's gold was the 1000th won in athletics in Olympic Games history (since 1896).

    CUNHA TRIUMPHS IN SWIMMING MARATHON

    Five-time world champion Ana Marcela Cunha claimed the gold medal in the women's 10km marathon swim.

    The Brazilian touched first in 1.59.30.8, only 0.9 seconds ahead of reigning Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal from the Netherlands. Australia's Kareena Lee claimed the bronze.

    Cunha finished 10th in her home games in Rio but the open water swimmer dominated in warm yet good conditions with minimal wind or current at Odaiba Marine Park.

    YOUNGSTERS DOMINATE SKATEBOARDING

    Japanese teenager Sakura Yosozumi won the first-ever women's park skateboarding gold medal with a best score of 60.09 in her first of three runs.

    Yosozumi beat out 12-year-old compatriot Kokona Hiraki who scored 59.04 in her second run.

    Sky Brown scored a 56.47 in her final run to claim bronze and become Team GB's youngest ever Olympic medallist, at the age of 13 years and 28 days.

    DUTCH DELIGHT IN RIO RE-MATCH

    Felice Albers scored a double as the Netherlands secured their spot in the women's hockey gold medal match after a 5-1 win over reigning champions Great Britain.

    In a re-match of the 2016 Rio gold medal showdown, the world number one Dutch side proved too strong, scoring twice within a minute in the second quarter to open up a 2-0 half-time lead.

    The Netherlands will be the favourites in the final, when they play either India or Argentina on Friday.

    Dutch coach Alison Annan said: "This was a really solid performance and when you win 5-1 in a semi-final you can only be very happy and proud of the players and the team with the performance they put together."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.