Veteran QB Alex Smith announces retirement from NFL
Quarterback Alex Smith. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran QB Alex Smith announces retirement from NFL

Alex Smith is officially hanging up the cleats.

The veteran quarterback, who shocked the world by returning to the NFL last season after a devastating leg injury, announced his decision to retire via Instagram. 

"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 in the video, as transcribed by Pro Football Talk. "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."

Smith, the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, spent 14 seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington. He is a three-time Pro Bowler and was named 2020 Comeback Player of the Year. 

In 2020, Smith helped the Washington Football team win the NFC East and return to the playoffs. However, he did not play in the Wild Card playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was recently released by the team this offseason. 

Smith initially said he wasn't ready to retire and wanted to continue playing in 2021. Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer even expressed interest in bringing him in.

The 36-year-old finishes his career with 35,650 yards, 199 touchdowns, 109 interceptions and a 62.6% completion percentage. With Smith returning from a life-threatening leg injury in 2020, his story will go down as one of the best in NFL history. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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