Redskins running back Chris Thompson, who continues to recover from the broken right fibula he suffered in a Week 11 loss to the Saints, was as surprised as anyone when Washington traded for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith last Tuesday night. That was already evident from the GIF of a confused Kevin Hart that Thompson tweeted shortly after the news broke, but the running back shared his extended thoughts on the deal during a Wednesday interview with The Team 980’s Chris Cooley and Kevin Sheehan.
“It was a surprise to me, just I guess how quick everything happened,” Thompson told Cooley and Sheehan. “I figured and kind of had a feeling that there was going to be something that happened, but for it to happen as fast as it did came as a surprise. I’m excited about Alex coming in and being here if everything stays the way that it’s supposed to be through March. He’s an athletic guy. I hear he’s a really great guy, a good leader, too, so I’m just excited for the opportunity, and I know Kirk is going to go somewhere and get every single dollar he wants. I think he deserves it. He’s put up some great numbers year in and year out, so that’s what this league is all about, the numbers.”
Cooley asked Thompson, one of the Redskins’ first offensive players to comment publicly on the team’s trade for Smith, if he got any sense from Cousins, who played the past two seasons under the one-year franchise tag, whether he wanted to remain in Washington long-term.
“Uhhhh …” Thompson said before taking 10 seconds to decide what he wanted to say next. “I think everybody got some mixed messages, I will say that. I know for me, talking to Kirk, being with Kirk, all we talked about was, you know, ‘C.T., with you staying healthy, we can do this with you, we can do that with you,’ and we were able to do a lot of the things that Kirk wanted to do with me. We wanted to continue this, so for me, I expected him to be here. I knew it would be hard given that we want to win, but if you pay a guy [$30 million] a year, it’s going to sacrifice some other things as well, as far as helping our defense out, maybe getting some more receivers, or running backs and all those type of things. It’s kind of hard to say. I think everybody got a different feel about it, but I know Kirk enjoyed being with me and I enjoyed being with him, so I wanted him to be here and I think part of him wanted to be here, but at the end of the day, you gotta do whatever you think is best for you and your family.”
Thompson, a fifth-round pick out of Florida State in 2013, was enjoying a career year before Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins rolled onto his right leg while he was blocking for Cousins in November. On Friday, Cousins told USA Today’s Mike Jones that saying goodbye to his teammates would be one of the hardest things about leaving Washington, and he mentioned Thompson by name.
“I texted Chris Thompson a couple days ago and said, ‘You’re one of the toughest teammates to move on from,’” Cousins said. “I could go on. Morgan Moses, Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long, on and on. Guys that I just loved playing with and think so highly of. It’s hard to move on.”
Thompson, who signed a two-year extension in September, is under contract with the Redskins through the 2019 season. He said his rehab is going well and doctors have told him he’ll regain the speed and agility that made him the most versatile weapon in Jay Gruden’s offense last season. The 5-foot-7 Thompson was leading the Redskins in rushing (294) and receiving yards (495), as well as touchdowns (6), when he went down.
“I’m known to want to progress as fast as I can, so, if I just stay patient with the process and everything, I should be back to what I was before,” Thompson said.
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