Alex Smith Walks Away From NFL After Tremendous Comeback

It was a banner year for Alex Smith, the quarterback and driving force behind Washington Football Team’s run to the playoffs in 2020. But it was also the final year for Smith.

Smith, who overcame a devastating leg injury to lift Washington to relevancy, was let go by the Football Team after the season. He announced his retirement Monday, following 16 seasons and three Pro Bowl appearances.

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Smith, 36, suffered a spiral and compound fracture to the tibia and fibula in his right leg in 2018 when he was sacked by Kareem Jackson and J. J. Watt of the Houston Texans. Smith later developed life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis near the surgery area, a soft-tissue disease which resulted in a whopping 17 surgeries in all.

Most people wrote Smith off after that, but he made his first appearance after the injury in Week 5 of this season vs. the Los Angeles Rams. The Football Team started 0-4, but Smith helped push them to a final mark of 7-9, good enough for Washington to win the NFL East and for Smith to earn NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors.

So this is a pretty good time for Smith to walk away. He proved he could play again and win again. And now, few NFL fans will remember him for the leg injury. They’ll remember only that he was a viable quarterback again after he recovered.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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  1. his comeback was amazing, but i don’t feel like it was ever a Redskins thing or anything but him.

    thats fine. i’m just a fan. he played for my primary team, but he was just passing through to collect $80 million dollars.

    he pissed on the franchise on the way out, so he has no football home – not chiefs – not 49rs.

    he is alone. buh bye.

    • He is beloved in KC…by the fans, and most of all, by Andy Reid. And Patrick Mahomes spoke about Alex always sitting with him and imparting his knowledge to Patrick; always sharing.
      He is also loved and admired in San Francisco, and when he was released by the WFT, many papers in SF called for him to be reunited as help/mentor for Jimmy G.
      One season in Washington with Snyder? I would piss on that, too, going out the door, but Alex has too much class for that.
      Alex Smith will always be one of Chiefs Kingdom’s favorite players as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play for the franchise. Not only did he help restore the Chiefs to respectability in his first few years under Andy Reid, but he also helped turn the team into a perennial playoff contender with a dynamic offense with a stellar final season under center with MVP-esque numbers at times.
      Beyond his on-field production for the Chiefs, Smith is remembered as a hero throughout Kansas City for his community work and his leadership—the sort of trait that made him a favorite of his teammates and coaches. It was also those traits that allowed him to handle what could have been an incredibly dramatic situation with such wisdom and grace—when the Chiefs first drafted Patrick Mahomes in 2017.

    • I’m a Skins fan too and he showed what it meant to bust your ass. This franchise has had so many problems before him. No winning attitude, a lousy owner, lousy coaches. I’m glad he set some benchmark in terms of working hard. You’re way too hard. We’ll see how they do this year and it they turn back into being bunch of losers.

    • You can’t speak for Chief’s fans. Alex didn’t take us to a Super Bowl, but he kept us in the game after a period of years when we sucked. He was a class act, and he mentored Mahomes. There are a lot of QBs who refuse to mentor their replacement. He’s loved and respected in KC. Period.

  2. Thank god as a WFT fan it was beyond obvious that it was time for Alex to hang it up so glad I got to say I saw him make that comeback. Wish it wouldn’t have ended on such tense terms though.

  3. The fact he came back from that to even play football was pretty much a miraculous accomplishment. Now let’s hope his post football career can go smoothly (that type of injury surely has lingering effects),

  4. His comeback was among the most incredible things ever. If you haven’t seen the “Project 11” documentary, I’d highly recommend it. Really glad he is leaving the game without being injured again. Good for him and his family.

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