Alex Smith, the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020, announced his retirement on Monday in a video posted to Instagram, 16 years after he was the first pick in the NFL draft.
Smith led the Washington Football Team into the playoffs more than two years after the devastating injury he sustained in Week 11 of the 2018 season. He required 17 surgeries to save his leg, repair the injury and fight a life-threatening infection.
Washington released him last month. Smith became a free agent, and the move saved the club nearly $15 million against the 2021 salary cap.
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Smith, who turns 37 next month, started the 2020 season as Washington’s third-string quarterback. The team turned to Kyle Allen after Dwayne Haskins was ineffective, and Smith took over after Allen suffered a season-ending injury in Week 9.
He played in eight regular-season games, starting six, and completed 168 of 252 passes (66.7 percent) for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns. He was unable to play in Washington’s wild-card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a calf injury.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by San Francisco, Smith was 99-67-1 as a starter and passed for 35,650 yards and 199 touchdowns in 174 games with the 49ers (2005-12), Kansas City Chiefs (2014-17) and Washington.
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–Field Level Media