Alex Smith announces retirement; Patrick Mahomes, NFL world react to QB's career

Alex Smith announces retirement; Patrick Mahomes, NFL world react to QB's career

Alex Smith defied the odds to return to the field, and now he’s walking away from it.

The longtime NFL quarterback announced his retirement on Monday, opting to step away from the game after a 16-year career during which he took snaps with the 49ers, Chiefs and Washington Football Team. Liz Smith, Alex’s wife, posted a moving video on Instagram.

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Smith’s NFL stay will be known as one of the league’s most storied careers — maybe not just by production, but headlines, as well. The 2005 No. 1 overall pick spent the first six years of his career with San Francisco, underachieving as the 49ers worked through various regime changes, leading to some talk of being a bust at the selection.

Smith, eventually injured, lost his job to Colin Kaepernick with the 49ers, signing with Kansas City to a big-money deal after the 2012 season. Smith would lead the Chiefs to the playoffs four times before handing the reins over the Patrick Mahomes in 2018.

An offseason trade to Washington in 2018 eventually led to a gruesome leg injury that left Smith with a life-threatening infection and led to 17 different surgeries to repair his limb. Smith would miraculously return to the field in 2020 after nearly two years of rehabbing and recovering.

Smith retires with 199 touchdown passes to 109 interceptions, becoming one of the league’s least intercepted quarterbacks since 2011. After he won the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2020, several NFL teams were reportedly interested in Smith’s services for the upcoming season, but Smith opted to hang up the cleats instead.

By any measure, Smith’s career was memorable. The quarterback’s NFL tenure garnered praise and reverence from the gridiron world on Monday.