Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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ESPN signs Alex Smith to 1-year deal as NFL analyst

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith is joining ESPN on a one-year deal as an NFL analyst.

In a move designed to test the waters for both sides, Smith will contribute to SportsCenter, Monday Night Countdown and Sunday NFL Countdown. ESPN announced the move Monday.

“I’m trying to balance this next phase with my family and ESPN was so open to the fact that they were going to kind of design something specifically for me in that sense, where I could get to do a lot of different things, which I wanted,” Smith told The Washington Post. “It was a no-brainer for me.”

Smith, 37, reportedly had tryouts with CBS and FOX to be an in-game booth analyst.

“I met with all the networks and did all the interviews,” Smith told The Kansas City Star. “I kind of just wanted to investigate.”

Smith retired in April after 16 years in the league. He finished his career with Washington, leading the team to the playoffs more than two years after suffering a devastating leg injury in Week 11 of the 2018 season. He required 17 surgeries to save his leg, repair the injury and fight a life-threatening infection.

Smith was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 after winning five of his six starts for Washington. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by San Francisco, Smith was 99-67-1 as a starter in the regular season and passed for 35,650 yards and 199 touchdowns in 174 games with the 49ers (2005-12), Kansas City Chiefs (2013-17) and Washington.

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