Alex Smith is retiring from playing after completing the ultimate comeback from injury.
After 15 NFL seasons over 16 years, former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith is calling it a career.
Smith was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Utah Utes standout came to San Francisco with huge expectations as a former Heisman Finalist. While he never lived up to those expectations in San Francisco, he was key in helping the 49ers reach the Super Bowl in his final season with the club in 2012. That is when his career took off.
Smith was a three-time Pro Bowler in his five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He would be traded to the Washington Football Team ahead of 2018. Midway through his first year in Washington, Smith suffered a ghastly leg injury that nearly cost him his limb. He somehow came back to win the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, which should be named after him.
Here is his official announcement via his wife Elizabeth’s Instagram account.
Alex Smith’s NFL legacy is one of perseverance and personal triumph
Though only a Hall of Very Good quarterback professionally, Smith left an indelible impact on the NFL itself. He had to carry with him the fact he wasn’t Aaron Rodgers, the other top quarterback the 49ers passed on in 2005. Once it became clear that Colin Kaepernick had usurped him in the depth chart, Smith had to take his talents to Kansas City. It was the best thing to happen to him.
Though he was eventually replaced by Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, Smith was the competent signal-caller that helped turn around a dire situation within the organization. His presence and command of the offense was a big reason why Washington valued him so much in that 2018 trade. As for what he did in his three years in Washington, we can never really put a price on that.
While his playing career is done, Smith got everything he could out of his body in 16 NFL seasons.