March 31, 2018
Su’a Cravens took a big step in moving closer toward playing in 2018.
The NFL reinstated Cravens off the reserve/left squad list Wednesday, a move that opens the door for the Washington Redskins safety’s return to the playing field next season.
Cravens, who left the team before the start of last season as he dealt with ongoing concussion issues, was reportedly contemplating retirement before he was medically cleared to resume football activities in December. It was unclear whether Cravens would ever play again in the NFL after the Redskins placed him on the reserve/left squad in mid-September.
Perhaps it’s because the quarterback’s new team, the Washington Redskins, don’t have a young signal-caller waiting in the wings to take his position like the 49ers (Colin Kaepernick) and Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) did. Perhaps it’s the new $94 million deal he agreed to after the trade was announced. Perhaps it’s the prospect of playing for noted quarterback-friendly coach Jay Gruden.
Whatever the reason, Smith sounded happy to have a new career opportunity when asked by ESPN’s Michael Collins about the trade that will send him from K.C. to D.C. when the new league year begins next month.
“Yeah, I’m jacked,” Smith told Collins at this weekend’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. “I’m pumped for the opportunity. A new challenge moving forward, I can’t wait to get started. I know it’s kind of, we’re not there yet, we’ve got to wait for the league year to start, but I can’t say how much I’m looking forward to it.”
Smith was traded from San Francisco to Kansas City after the 2012 season when the Niners opted to make Kaepernick their quarterback of the future. Last month, it was revealed Smith would be traded once again, this time as the Chiefs look to give their franchise keys to Mahomes.
In Washington, there is no such QB of the future (though the Redskins do have the No. 13 overall pick in April’s draft…), and Smith, at least for the foreseeable future, is finally being looked at as the face of an offense.
According to Swearinger, he wasn’t alone in the opinion he initially had of the move. Not necessarily because the trade will spell the end of Kirk Cousins’ tenure in Washington and begin a new era with Smith under center, but rather because the team gave up what he felt was “the No. 1 slot corner in the game” to get the deal done.
“No, I wasn’t [alone] at all,” Swearinger said. “Especially the DBs. Especially when you’re in the room with a guy every day, you see his work ethic, you see him grow as a second-year player. You never want to see that. But it’s a blessing in disguise. Everything happens for a reason and we’re moving forward from it.”
So the Redskins will trudge on without Fuller, without Cousins, without a 2018 third-round pick, and with Smith under center. While those facts were at first tough for Swearinger to swallow, they’re now moves he and the team are fully embracing.
“I think we can be better,” Swearinger said when asked if Washington will improve after the trade is completed. “I think we can be better. I don’t know what Alex as a leadership standpoint brings, but I hear he is a great player. I see he is a great player. He’s done a lot of great things in this league. A Pro Bowl guy and I can’t wait to get with him and get some championships going.”