Retired Quarterback Alex Smith Joining ESPN’s Team as NFL Analyst

The recently retired Comeback Player of the Year isn't content to just sit on the sidelines

Alex Smith
Alex Smith warms up before a game in 2020 in Maryland.
Patrick McDermott/Getty

Just months removed from announcing his retirement from pro football, former NFL Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith has already found a new line of work.

First reported by The New York Post, Smith will be joining ESPN as an in-studio NFL analyst and will have a minor recurring role on multiple shows, including Monday Night Countdown. “Smith, 37, is not expected to have a major role on any one particular show,” per The Washington Post. “Rather, the network plans to have him on various shows multiple times a month.”

Though Smith will start out as a role player at ESPN, the network could make a larger commitment to him and expand his on-air playbook if both sides like how it goes to start. ESPN may not have been Smith’s first choice as he tried out as a Sunday game analyst for Fox and CBS, but the former signed Mark Sanchez while the latter did not replace Rich Gannon in the booth.

With Fox and CBS both passing on the retired QB, it will be interesting to see what Smith brings to the table as an analyst once gets his feet wet at ESPN. Supremely experienced at speaking with the media and fielding questions from reporters, Smith seems as if he would be comfortable on camera and speaking his mind. He also clearly loves football as it would have been perfectly understandable for him to retire after he suffered a gruesome leg injury that led to a life-threatening infection and required almost 20 surgeries. Instead, he came back and played eight games in his final season with Washington, going 5-1 in his six starts. 

Drafted No. 1 overall by San Francisco, Smith played 14 seasons in the NFL spread over 16 years for the 49ers, Chiefs and Washington. The ultimate game manager, Smith passed for 35,650 yards, 199 touchdowns and 109 interceptions in 167 career starts and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

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