Alex Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers as well as the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as a quarterback with the Washington Football Team, announced his retirement from the league on Monday, and social media was awash in inspiring words for an inspiring player.
Smith, who made a remarkable comeback from an injury that nearly cost him his right leg, announced Monday on Instagram that he is ending his football career. His tenure with Washington was defined by the broken right fibula and tibia that he suffered in November 2018 and subsequent comeback, with his first game action on Oct. 11, 2020.
The former Utah Ute quarterback said in the video posted Monday to Instagram that although he has "plenty of snaps left in me," he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and "can't wait to see what else is possible" after 16 years in the NFL.
From the NFL reporters who covered Smith to the Utah student section to the teams that played against Smith, there was plenty of praise to go around for the quarterback and his career:
Heck of a career pre-injury,— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) April 19, 2021
Legendary status post.
Absolutely incredible comeback, a picture of determination, perseverance and sheer will.
Thanks for the inspiration and best wishes on the next chapter! https://t.co/AMhbUPYqLV
Alex Smith. An Inspiration. A legend. THE King. Congrats on retirement, #11! Thank you for letting us be a part of your incredible career 👑 pic.twitter.com/XdnDtoA1yE— The MUSS (@TheMUSS) April 19, 2021
One of the better storied #1 overall picks ever.— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) April 19, 2021
Overcame so much
Congratulations, Alex Smith.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 19, 2021
You are an inspiration.
To think of everything Alex Smith endured as a 49er... and came out better ... and then he endured so, so much more after that. And came out better. That's quite a story to tell. Glad he's getting out on his own terms.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) April 19, 2021
Andy Reid congratulated Alex Smith on a great career. Said he texted him recently and told Smith if he wanted to get into coaching that "I get first dibs'' on him.— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) April 19, 2021
Quarterback Alex Smith is retiring. What a remarkable career and journey. So much respect. Fittingly finishes his career as the Comeback Player of the Year.🙌🏈— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) April 19, 2021
Statement from Dan and Tanya Snyder on the retirement of Alex Smith pic.twitter.com/w6FPiWFyCP— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) April 19, 2021
I am drawn to lessons in resilience, fortitude, uncommon commitment and sacrifice. Never can get enough of them. Learn from all of them. Inspired by every one of them. That is Alex Smith to me and for me.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) April 19, 2021
Largest of shoutouts to Alex Smith— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) April 19, 2021
Salute to Alex Smith. Such an inspiration 🙏🏾 Congrats on a great career. https://t.co/ssWzkd1mju— Steven Terrell (@SdotTerrell) April 19, 2021
Nothing but respect, Alex Smith. ✊ pic.twitter.com/z11QmLzDHy— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 19, 2021