Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes: Alex Smith Always Seemed to Be Better from Adversity

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 19, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrate their win against the Miami Dolphins in an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes chimed in on the retirement of his former mentor Alex Smith, calling the reigning Comeback Player of the Year a "tremendous guy" who would "always seem to come on top and be better from" adversity.

Ben Standig @BenStandig

Patrick Mahomes today on the retiring Alex Smith https://t.co/QZDlT34xzq

Smith, who turns 37 in May, took to Instagram to announce his decision Monday, claiming he wants to spend more time with his family. 


Smith was the quarterback of the Chiefs for five seasons, with his final year in Kansas City coming in 2017, when Mahomes was the team's No. 10 overall pick.

He had his career-best season that year, throwing for 4,042 yards and 26 touchdowns on 67.5 percent passing, earning his third Pro Bowl nod before shipping out to Washington. In Washington, he appeared in 10 games as the starter before suffering a gruesome right leg injury in November 2018.

His compound leg fracture required 17 surgeries to quell infection, forcing him to miss the entirety of the 2019 campaign. He returned to the team in 2020, appearing in eight games and starting six, throwing for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns on 66.7 percent passing.

Smith told ESPN's Outside The Lines that he visited with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where his former coach Urban Meyer is taking over, but he was already considering stepping away from the game. 

"I was ready," Smith said (h/t John Keim of ESPN). "I am ready. I'm so excited about what else is out there and to experience it with my family and to have no limitations and take on the challenges that lie ahead."

As for his future, he could head back to Kansas City—head coach Andy Reid said he wants "first dibs" on Smith if he decides to return to the league as a coach.