Veteran quarterback Alex Smith announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, saying in a video posted to Instagram that, "Even though I have plenty of snaps left in me, after 16 years of giving this game everything I got, I can't wait to see what else is possible."
Smith, the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, spent last year with Washington, leading the team to a 5-1 record as its starter. The Football Team released smith in early March, allowing him to become a free agent.
Smith's performance last season was even more highly regarded considering he returned to the NFL after suffering a gruesome leg injury in November 2018 that required 17 operations and nearly a leg amputation. He missed all of 2019 rehabbing the injury.
In a February interview with GQ, Smith, 36, spoke candidly about his leg injury and rehab process, saying the team seemed to prefer he didn't return to football.
"When I decided to come back, I definitely threw a wrench in the team's plan," Smith said. "They didn't see it, didn't want me there, didn't want me to be a part of it, didn't want me to be on the team, the roster, didn't want to give me a chance. Mind you, it was a whole new regime. They came in, I'm like the leftovers and I'm hurt and I'm this liability. ... Heck no, they didn't want me there."
Smith joined Washington in 2018 and started 10 games that year before suffering his leg injury.
Prior to playing in Washington, he started 76 games with the Chiefs and 75 games with the 49ers.
Smith, a former No. 1 pick of the Niners in the 2005 draft, retires having made three Pro Bowls. He threw for more than 35,000 yards and 199 touchdowns in his career.
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