Alex Smith Released By Washington Football Team After Incredible Comeback Season

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9:09 AM PT -- WFT football coach Ron Rivera is describing the move to release Alex Smith as a mutual decision "that would be best for both parties."

Rivera says he met with Smith this week and they had a "very honest and real discussion."

"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."

Rivera praised Smith as a leader and a role model for younger players.

"He made such an impact on our young roster and his leadership was one of the key factors in our last season's success and in making the playoffs for this 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 organization."

Alex Smith's run in D.C. is over ... the QB has officially been released by the Washington Football Team.

Now, the 36-year-old signal-caller with quite possibly the greatest comeback story EVER will try and continue his NFL career somewhere else.

Remember, Smith suffered a catastrophic injury to his right leg in 2018 -- a spiral and compound fracture to his tibia and fibula -- when he was sacked during a game against the Houston Texans.

The injury was so bad, Smith ultimately needed 17 operations to repair the damage -- and at one point, doctors seriously considered amputating the limb at the knee!

Smith missed the entire 2019 season -- but trained his ass off ... and ultimately returned to the field in 2020.

Miraculously, Smith got the green light from his doctors to resume football activities in July 2020 -- and was activated in August 2020.

Smith served as a backup for most of the season -- but when the starters all went down ... he stepped up and led the WFT in an unlikely Week 13 victory against the then-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers!

Overall, Smith was 5-1 in games he started in 2020 -- and was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

His wife also commissioned an artist to turn his knee brace into a piece that resembled the Lombardi Trophy to commemorate his comeback.

So, what's next for Alex Smith? He reportedly still wants to play ... the question is, will any team make an offer??

Hey, he's defied the odds before ...

Originally Published -- 7:10 AM PT

Washington Football Team Replacing Cheerleaders With Coed Dance Team ... For 2021 Season

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The Washington Football Team is making another drastic change -- the organization will feature a coed dance team in 2021 ... ditching its cheerleading program for the first time in more than 50 seasons.

WFT's new senior advisor Petra Pope made the announcement Tuesday, saying the "First Ladies of Football" -- the longest-running cheer program in the NFL -- will be replaced by a coed team for a more "modern and diverse" look.

"We want to be more inclusive, so we are going to invite a coed entity (to audition)," Pope said to USA TODAY Sports.

"We’re able to do more things with the strength of a male, and lifts, so that’s changed a great deal. The inclusivity, strength and interest of choreography has changed."

Even though it's a dance team, former cheerleaders will be allowed to try out for the new squad ... which will consist of more than 36 members.

Of course, this change comes after several former cheerleaders made serious allegations in a Washington Post article last August ... claiming staff members secretly recorded them naked while making a bikini calendar in 2008 and 2010.

The Post said a former staffer was told by the WFT's lead broadcaster that the video was made for team owner Dan Snyder -- a claim Snyder has adamantly denied.

WFT reportedly reached a settlement with the former cheerleaders in 2020.

The NFL is still investigating the WFT for multiple sexual harassment allegations.

With that, Pope says the dance team will not be doing any calendars.

NFL's Chase Young Cops Huge Team Logo Chain ... Worth $85k!!!

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The Washington Football Team may have come up short against the Buccaneers, but superstar Chase Young still got a "W" ... courtesy of his brand new diamond chain!!

TMZ Sports has learned ... the 2020 #2 overall pick loves his new NFL home so much, he decided to pay tribute with his newest piece of jewelry.

We're told Young hit up Gabriel The Jeweler -- go-to guy for huge names like Odell Beckham, Antonio Brown and more -- for the job ... and the finished product is a one-of-a-kind replica of the WFT's "W" logo in diamond form!!

Gabriel tells us the piece is made of 30 carats of emerald-shaped VVS diamonds ... and another 9 carats of round VVS diamonds.

No word on how much dough the rookie dropped on the piece, but we're told it's valued at $85k.

FWIW -- Young's rookie deal is worth $35 million ... so yeah, the dude can definitely treat himself.

Not a bad way to cap off a stellar first season, rook!!

BIG BLING
@gabriel_jeweler

NFL's Alex Smith Transforms Leg-Saving Contraption ... Into 'Trophy Of Triumph'

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Very cool and inspirational move from NFL star Alex Smith ... the QB transformed his leg-saving brace into a trophy -- and the piece came out AWESOME.

Smith's wife, Liz, revealed the artwork before the signal-caller and the Washington Football Team locked up the NFC East title Sunday night ... saying, "No matter the outcome, Alex has already won."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Liz added praise to the welder who fabricated the piece ... writing, "Special thanks to @coldhardart for transforming a symbol of hard times to a trophy of triumph we can proudly put on our shelves."

Of course, you'll recall ... Smith needed the brace for several months after he broke both his fibula and tibia during a violent hit from J.J. Watt in a November 2018 game.

Alex nearly lost the leg while trying to recover ... ultimately requiring 17 surgeries to fix the break and the ensuing infection it caused.

The 36-year-old, though, has miraculously shown no signs of deteriorated play in his return this season ... and it seems staring at the twisted metal that used to be affixed to his leg has helped in all of that.

The piece is clearly inspired by the Lombardi Trophy -- which is awarded each year to the winner of the Super Bowl.

For the artist's part, Cold Hard Art wrote of transforming the brace, "Might be one of the most unique projects to be part of turning a leg stabilizer into a symbols of strength and determination."

#Amazing

NFL's J.D. McKissic Honors Tupac, Nipsey Hussle Rap-Inspired Cleat Design

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Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic is showin' some California love on his newest pair of cleats ... by honoring Tupac and Nipsey Hussle with an awesome design.

TMZ Sports has learned ... that the 27-year-old NFLer wanted to pay tribute to the two rap legends on his Nike kicks ... so he hit up California artist Joe Castro to make it happen.

Castro -- who also did J.D.'s teammate Chase Young's cleats -- came though with an incredibly detailed finished product ... from Tupac's nose ring to Nip's famous "Prolific" tattoo.

Of course, that kinda detail takes a lot of time ... and we're told it required a total of 12 HOURS from start to finish.

BTW -- Castro is also responsible for the incredible King Von cleat tribute for Chiefs WR Tajae Sharpe.

No word on whether J.D. will wear these cleats on the field ... but keep an eye out!!

Dwayne Haskins Washington Cuts 2nd Year QB ... After Maskless Partying

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Dwayne Haskins has been released by the Washington Football Team ... this after he was caught partying it up without a mask.

The announcement was made Monday following the team's loss to the Carolina Panthers. The poor record this season -- plus Dwayne's on-camera COVID-risky screw-up, we imagine -- were the final straw for upper management.

Bottom line, the former first-round draft pick is out.

The 2nd year QB released a statement saying, "My time with the WFT has unfortunately come to an end. I thank the team & fans for the opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for."

He adds, "I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of a NFL QB & will become a better man & player because of this experience."

Of course, Dwayne is probably talking about the fact he was recently caught raging with strippers (sans masks or distancing) on the heels of his team's loss to the Seahawks.

Not only that, but Dwayne simply wasn't living up to expectations after Washington made him its top pick in 2019.

For its part, WFT management says they talked to Dwayne, and basically said ... it'd be best if they went their separate ways.

Now, he's a free agent.

Dan Snyder Co-Owner is Extorting Me!!! Claims He's Trying to Force Sale of Team

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Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder is calling out one of the team's minority owners ... flat out claiming the guy's extorting him in hopes Snyder will unload the NFL franchise.

Snyder filed a declaration stating Dwight Schar, part of the team's ownership group, has been threatening to leak information related to the sexual misconduct allegations made by former WFT employees.

In the docs, obtained by TMZ Sports, Snyder says Schar is well aware an independent investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing -- however, he claims Schar repeatedly leaked info about the case to the Washington Post and other media outlets, attempting to smear him.

As for the extortion allegation, Snyder claims Schar told Snyder's attorney he had a bombshell that would "kill Dan" if it came out ... and added he would release it if Snyder didn't "just sell the team."

According to the docs, Schar also had the investment banker for the WFT minority owners get in the mix. Snyder claims that guy texted him, "You know what I know and what I've never spoken about ... If you want a s**t show, we are on for that too."

As we've reported, Snyder has long suspected someone was leaking damaging stories to various websites in order to discredit him -- but up until now he hadn't publicly, or even in court, named names.

Snyder's declaration puts it all out in the open -- he's in a civil war with members of his team's ownership. A little background ... those minority owners can't get the full value of their investment unless Snyder, the majority owner, agrees to sell. Snyder's certainly insinuating that's Schar's motive.

As Snyder says in the docs, "I am fighting on multiple fronts for interests that go beyond just me, including for the Team that I love, as well as my family, and can swear to this Court that the accusations I improperly leaked information to the press are false."

Dwayne Haskins Sorry For Maskless Stripper Party ... 'It Was Irresponsible'

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Washington Football Team QB Dwayne Haskins is owning up to attending a stripper-filled party without a mask on Sunday ... apologizing for his actions and calling it all "irresponsible."

Pics of the 23-year-old hit social media hours after he quarterbacked WFT in a 20-15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks ... showing the QB and a female friend holding a stack of dollar bills while a dancer performs.

Haskins -- who was also previously fined for breaking COVID protocols earlier this season -- says he's sorry for his lack of judgment.

"I want to publicly apologize for my actions this past Sunday. I spoke with Coach (Ron) Rivera yesterday and took full accountability for putting the team at risk."

"It was irresponsible and immature of me and I accept responsibility for my action."

Haskins also extended an apology to his teammates for creating a distraction as they continue a push for the playoffs.

"I will learn and grow from this and do what’s best for the team moving forward."

The team addressed the situation on Tuesday, saying it's aware of the incident and will handle the matter internally ... but, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, WFT does not intend to release the QB.

Haskins could, however, be hit with a fine or suspension as a result of the strip club visit.

Story developing ...

Washington Football Team What's in a NEW Name??? Snyder Eyeing 2 Favorites

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We have 2 leaders in the clubhouse when it comes to the new permanent name for the Washington Football Team ... and one of 'em is inspired by that other brand of football.

Team sources tell us owner Daniel Snyder is strongly considering sticking with the Washington Football Team -- for good reasons that we'll get into in a moment -- but we're also told the Washington Football Club is also in the running.

Washington Football Team or Washington Football Club? WFT or WFC?

Let's break it down. WFT has a lot going for it ... head coach Ron Rivera has the team playing well lately. Yeah, they're only 6-8, but that's good enough to top the NFC East and, as of now, they're in the playoffs. Winning cures all.

As for WFC ... we're told some folks in the organization like the tip of the hat to Premier League powerhouses Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal ... all of which use the FC handle.

Now, we're told it's not a lock Snyder goes with either WFC or WFT ... but he is keen on both. The team hasn't picked a deadline to make a final choice, but it's reportedly eyeing the 2022 season to debut the new permanent handle.

So, who ya got?

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