Former Utes quarterback Alex Smith retiring from NFL: ‘Thank you for believing in me’

Sports

FILE – Washington Football Team’s Alex Smith walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Landover, Md., in this Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, file photo. The Rams won 30-10. Washington has informed Alex Smith the team is releasing the veteran quarterback, according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday, March 5, 2021, because Smith’s release was not yet official. The NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year hopes to continue playing next season at age 37. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

(ABC4) – After 16 years of playing in the NFL, former University of Utah quarterback Alex Smith has announced he is retiring.

This past season, Smith returned to the field after an injury that nearly cost him his leg. The 36-year-old was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 after helping to lead the Washington Football Team to the NFC East title.

In November 2018, Smith suffered a broken right fibula and tibia that kept him off the field until October 2020. As ESPN reports, Smith underwent 17 surgeries to fight an infection. He also chose not to have his leg amputated.

In a video posted to Instagram Monday, Smith says that while he has “plenty of snaps left in me,” he is looking forward to spending time with his family.

Before heading to the NFL as the No. 1 overall draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, Smith became well known in Utah as he played for the Utes under head coach Urban Meyer.

In their first season together in 2003, Smith and Meyer helped bring Utah is first conference title since 1957 with a 10-2 record.

In the 2004 season, Smith and the Utes went undefeated, capped by a Fiesta Bowl victory over Pittsburgh. Smith threw for 2,952 yards and 32 touchdowns while adding 10 more rushing TDs, and went on to become a Heisman Trophy finalist.

After spending eight years with the 49ers in the NFL, Smith joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013.

Smith was released by Washington in March.

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