Just a year after winning the NFL's 2020 Comeback Player of the Year award, Alex Smith announced his retirement from professional football.
Smith, 36, was left without a place to play after being released by the Washington Football Team following the 2020 season. Despite reportedly having conversations to join the Jacksonville Jaguars as a back-up, the 16-year veteran decided to hang up his jersey for good. He'll end his career with 35,650 passing yards, 199 touchdowns and 109 interceptions.
Smith announced his decision in a video on Instagram.
"Even though I've got plenty of snaps left in me, after 16 years of giving this game everything I've got, I can't wait to see what else is possible," Smith said. "But first, I'll take a little time to enjoy a few of those walks with my wife, and my kids have no idea what's coming for them in the backyard."
Smith came into the league as the No. 1 overall pick with San Fransisco 49ers in 2005. But, he wasn't the only player that became a major part of the organization that joined that season.
Five-time Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore was also selected by the 49ers during the third round of the 2005 draft and became major franchise piece alongside Smith for nearly the next decade. The duo took a few years to find their stride, but eventually led San Fransisco to the NFC Conference Championship game in 2011.
— Frank Gore (@frankgore) April 19, 2021
">Take a look at what Gore wrote to Smith on Twitter:
Gore became just the latest to congratulate Smith on an incredible career. Ron Rivera and Andy Reid both penned messages to their former quarterback after the announcement on Monday.
Meanwhile, while Smith rides off into the sunset, Gore is looking to keep his lengthy NFL career going. After spending 2020 with the New York Jets, the 16-year veteran remains unsigned for the upcoming 2021 season.