Alex Smith announces his retirement

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Alex Smith is calling it a career.

Smith, the veteran quarterback who shocked the football world by returning to the field last year after a devastating leg injury, announced in an Instagram video that he is retiring.

The 36-year-old Smith made clear that he is happy that he is now able to leave the game his own way, and not on a stretcher, as it appeared he was going to when he suffered that leg injury in 2018.

“Two years ago I was stuck in a wheelchair, staring down at my mangled leg, wondering if I would ever be able to go on a walk again or play with my kids in the yard,” Smith said. “On a routine play, I almost lost everything. But football wouldn’t let me give up. Because, no, this isn’t just a game. It’s not just what happens between those white lines on a Sunday afternoon. It’s about the challenges and the commitment they require. It’s about how hard and how far you can push yourself. It’s about the bond between those 53 guys in the locker room and everybody else in the organization. It’s about fully committing yourself to something bigger.”

The first overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, Smith played from 2005 to 2012 in San Francisco, from 2013 to 2017 in Kansas City and in 2018 and 2020 in Washington.

51 responses to “Alex Smith announces his retirement

  1. I have so much respect for Alex Smith. A great competitor. He had a fine career. He will be missed on Sunday’s

  2. A class act, and he’s doing the right thing. He would make some team a great QB coach.

  3. Good luck Mr Smith. You have always been a real professional and a class act. Wishing you the best in all your future endeavors.

  4. Congrats to Smith for retiring on his own terms.

    I was living in the Bay Area while he was a 49er. The Mikes’ and Harbaugh he had as coaches did him no favors. Him refusing to take chances with the throwing the ball was part of it too. Andy Reid saw it in KC.

  5. Thanks for getting KC back to being relevant. You played a bigger part in winning SB 54 than most may realize. Enjoy life, Alex: you earned it!

  6. I always wondered if him and Rodgers switched situations in the draft how would their careers be different. Great career considering everything you encountered when you first started, in the middle and at the end. Always seemed like no matter what you were getting raw deals, but you always handled it like a professional.

  7. As a WFT I have enormous respect for Alex Smith. Good luck in whatever your next adventure is…

  8. Hear, hear! Cheers to Alex Smith! A hell of a football player & an even better person!

  9. Alex Smith had it rough combing to the 49ers playing for a Head Coach who was totally non-functional on the offensive side of the ball. He had to learn the West Coast offense under Mike McCarthy, the next season he had to learn the Air Coryell number system offense under Norv Turner, the next season he had to play for the worst OC in the history of the game in Jeff Hostler, the next season he had to learn Martz Madness which is is Air Coryell with option routes( the next season he had to learn Jimmy Raye’s offense, and then FINALLY found stability and began to thrive under Harbaugh, G-Ro, and Geep Chryst. He thrived in that situation because he finallly played for a Coach who say the game through the QB perspective.

    He is the epitome of perseverance, grit, and determination, That man persevered through the depths of 49ers football and navigated the 49ers to a NFC championship with a historic game vs The Saints outgunning Drew Brees with his arm and athleticism.

    Hope he has good retirement, but he really should be a coach. That man knows so many systems and terminology it’s ridiculous. He’ll be a good Offensive Coordinator and Head coach because he sees the game through the QB perspective. Unlike the Head Coach that the 49ers have now….Our Head coach is so handicapped when it comes to evaluating QBs that he’s about to draft McCorkle Jones over Justin Fields and Trey Lance. That’s why I wouldn’t hire any O Coordinator who doesn’t have QB experience….:but I digress.

  10. I truly don’t believe Alex Smith has played his last game. If an injury occurs and a starting postion is available, I can see him making a return.

  11. Alex was pure class from day one in the NFL, never made a single excuse, and had to endure multiple bad head coaches and no talent offensive coordinators in his early days with the 49ers. It was great to see him have success when he finally was able to team up with Jim Harbaugh and Andy Reid, even though both of them would turn him loose. I always wonder if his career track would have been different if it was Aaron Rodgers who had been drafted first and Alex would have had the chance to grow up in Green Bay.

  12. Shouldn’t some of the $8.6 million in dead money Washington is carrying as a result of cutting him because he wouldn’t come to this inevitable conclusion earlier, due back to the team?

    EVen though it wasn’t guaranteed this year, I believe it represents a percentage of the up-front bonus he received; which should be paid back at retirement.

  13. Mad respect. He’d have offers to play this year. If not start at least a playing mentor. On his own terms is a big deal

  14. I have all the admiration in the world for him. I wish him and his family all the best.

  15. It was hard not to like/respect/root for him, even before the injury.

    He had some really bad luck being anchored to bad 49ers teams early in his career and suffered a nasty injury that had a long-term impact on him. But he was a smart player, knew how to work with what he had and proved to be a winner.

    Going out with a 5-1 record as a starter and leading a longtime basement-dweller to the playoffs after that horrific injury was beyond impressive, and arguably more than a little bit insane.

    I’ll miss him on Sundays, but he’s doing the right thing.

  16. He could have been out of football a lot earlier, after Mike Singletary was fired. Singletary was a real bad coach who fired the OC who worked well with him the year before and installed a dull 2 yards and a cloud of dust offense. Singletary then benched Smith when the team started losing, before reinstating him as starter later. H should thank Jim Harbaugh and Andy Reid for saving his career and allowing him to earn so much money.

  17. The Kansas City Chiefs owe Alex Smith a Super Bowl ring for establishing that system. And I only say that because Patrick Mahomes admits it himself that without Alex Smith, it may not have been possible.

  18. Alex Smith had a career where circumstance wasn’t his friend (being drafted to an abominable 49ers org, losing QB spot to red hot Kap while injured, being a vet when Mahomes was available to be drafted, devastating leg injury, even more devastating infection from that injury) but Alex Smith always persevered and left standing. He came back from this career ending injury and played well and made a fortune in the process, and regaining 100% of physical form wasn’t possible. good luck Alex Smith and congratulations on an awesome career!

  19. Had success except postseason, though Reid didnt help with bad time management. A good career and comeback …

  20. A lot of respect. Literally the best thing that has happened to WFT in 10 years.

  21. Great news for this Monday! Enjoy Mr. Smith we all enjoyed your career! Good luck in whatever you choose in the future. Class act to the very end!

  22. Name the Comeback Player of the Year Award after him! Do it you cowards! 🙂

  23. His wife can breathe a sigh of relief now! He made his point, but was one good hit from losing a lot more than his career. Away with you now boy! Good luck in all you do, but hope to see you back in the game very soon one way or another.

  24. Great story – class act all through his entire career – glad he came back from that nasty infection

  25. Enjoy your life, Alex. You faced a lot of adversity during your career. I could see him being a coach or a motivational speaker. Given his experiences and all of the highs and lows he endured, he could provide a lot of insight and wisdom.

  26. Smart decision, and I can’t help but wonder if his wife didn’t say, “Enough.”

  27. Too bad for the skins he didn’t pull a Brees and reduce his salary to the league min prior to retirement.

    another reason to like him, this guy would never cheat.

  28. After watching the E60 documentary on his injury I thought for sure his playing career was over. The fact that he was able to come back and start multiple games is incredible. Great accomplishment and great that he’s able to retire in one piece.

  29. @49ersfury:

    Exactly! Changing OCs year after year will have a negative impact on a QB’s development. Smith was a class act and had a good career despite all that nonsense.

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