Half Mag / Half Zine

Alex Smith is calling it a career.

Smith, the veteran quarterback who shocked the football world by returning to the field last year after a devastating leg injury, announced in an Instagram video that he is retiring.

The 36-year-old Smith made clear that he is happy that he is now able to leave the game his own way, and not on a stretcher, as it appeared he was going to when he suffered that leg injury in 2018.

“Two years ago I was stuck in a wheelchair, staring down at my mangled leg, wondering if I would ever be able to go on a walk again or play with my kids in the yard,” Smith said. “On a routine play, I almost lost everything. But football wouldn’t let me give up. Because, no, this isn’t just a game. It’s not just what happens between those white lines on a Sunday afternoon. It’s about the challenges and the commitment they require. It’s about how hard and how far you can push yourself. It’s about the bond between those 53 guys in the locker room and everybody else in the organization. It’s about fully committing yourself to something bigger.”

The first overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, Smith played from 2005 to 2012 in San Francisco, from 2013 to 2017 in Kansas City and in 2018 and 2020 in Washington.