On Monday, former Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith made a decision about the 2021 NFL season.
He will not be playing. He has chosen to retire.
Smith made the announcement via a post on his wife’s Instagram. You can see the two-minute video below.
It makes sense for Alex Smith to retire.
He accomplished all he ever could at the NFL level. Many had assumed that his career was over after he suffered a brutal leg injury against the Houston Texans during the 2018 season. In fact, he nearly lost his leg and his life during the 17 surgeries that he had in the aftermath of the injury and an infection that came after it.
Despite that, Smith returned to the field during the 2020 season. Against all odds, he played again. He made six starts and posted a 5-1 record to help get the Washington Football Team to the postseason.
Unfortunately, Smith wasn’t able to play in the playoffs because of a calf strain in his previously injured leg. And his performance down the stretch suffered as a result when he was on the field.
Simply put, Smith could no longer stay healthy and NFL teams didn’t feel comfortable signing him and putting him on the field. That’s understandable, and at 36 years old, Smith’s time in the league was growing short anyway. As a result, he decided to retire.
Smith’s comeback was inspirational and was the greatest injury comeback story in NFL history (and perhaps in all of sports.). He was correctly awarded the Comeback Player of the Year award for the 2020 season and his lasting legacy will be his return from that devastating injury.
He’ll also be remembered for his great leadership abilities and for the way that he turned a disappointing start to his career into a long, solid one as a starter across the league.
Overall, Smith played in 174 games during his career, 167 of them starts, and he logged a 99-67-1 record for the 49ers, Chiefs, and Washington Football Team during his 14-year NFL career. He threw for 35,650 passing yards, 199 touchdowns, and 109 interceptions during his career.
Smith also helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl back in 2013. He was eventually replaced by Colin Kaepernick, but never complained about his demotion. That shows the rare type of support that the three-time Pro Bowler gave to his teammates and competitors.
Congratulations on an amazing career, Alex Smith. May you have success in whatever comes next for you.