The 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year is calling it quits.
Alex Smith announced on Instagram on Monday that he will retire from the NFL after a 16-year career.
Alex Smith has announced his retirement. https://t.co/uYvFdHIKcM— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 19, 2021
Smith, 36, had a whirlwind 16-year career ever since being drafted No. 1 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
Despite being drafted ahead of Aaron Rodgers, dealing with injuries to his throwing shoulder and feuding with then-Niners coach Mike Nolan, Smith turned his career around to be a solid starter who led multiple franchises to the playoffs.
After spending eight seasons in San Francisco, Smith was shipped to the Kansas City Chiefs before being replaced by Patrick Mahomes. He then landed with the Washington Football Team where he won the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award after suffering a gruesome leg injury that nearly cost him his life.
In Smith's emotional retirement video, he travels through his career journey, and gives a touching reason why he's stepping away.
"Even though I've got plenty of snaps left in me, after 16 years of giving this game everything I've got, I can't wait to see what else is possible," Smith said. "But first, I'm going to take a little time to enjoy those walks with my wife, and my kids have no idea what's coming for them in the backyard."
Despite questions about his health, Smith did have interest from other NFL teams – including the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are coached by Alex Smith's former college coach at Utah, Urban Meyer.
Multiple teams wanted to sign Alex Smith, who made the decision a couple weeks ago to walk away. One of the greatest comeback stories in NFL history ends on Smith's terms. https://t.co/P2M4vAeelT— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 19, 2021
Over the course of his career, Smith has compiled 35,650 yards and 199 touchdowns on a 62.6 completion percentage.
Photo: Getty Images