Inspiration, respect and admiration: NFL world reacts to Alex Smith's retirement from football

Alex Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers as well as the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as a quarterback with the Washington Football Team, announced his retirement from the league on Monday, and social media was awash in inspiring words for an inspiring player.

Smith, who made a remarkable comeback from an injury that nearly cost him his right leg, announced Monday on Instagram that he is ending his football career. His tenure with Washington was defined by the broken right fibula and tibia that he suffered in November 2018 and subsequent comeback, with his first game action on Oct. 11, 2020.

The former Utah Ute quarterback said in the video posted Monday to Instagram that although he has "plenty of snaps left in me," he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and "can't wait to see what else is possible" after 16 years in the NFL.

From the NFL reporters who covered Smith to the Utah student section to the teams that played against Smith, there was plenty of praise to go around for the quarterback and his career: