Tuesday is officially the last full day that quarterback Alex Smith will be with the Chiefs.
When the new NFL season begins Wednesday, the Chiefs will complete a trade that was made in January and will send Smith to Washington.
With his time with the Chiefs coming to an end, Smith wrote a letter to the team and its fans on the Players' Tribune with the headline, "Thank You, Kansas City."
Smith opened by saying he knew last season likely would be his last with the Chiefs since they drafted Patrick Mahomes in the first round of the NFL Draft.
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When the Chiefs' season ended with the playoff loss to the Titans, he began to think about where he would play next season, and flashed back to when he was traded to Kansas City.
"(T)he first thing everybody wanted to tell me about (besides the BBQ) was the people — how strong and resilient, proud and passionate, and truly kind and caring the people are.
"Well, they were definitely telling the truth.
"And now that I’m moving on to Washington, that’s something my family and I have talked a lot about — how the thing we’re going to miss most will definitely be the people. The community. The friends we’ve made.
"And the incredibly passionate fans.
"I’m going to miss pulling into Arrowhead and snaking through the thousands of tailgaters that make up Chiefs Kingdom.
"As a quarterback, you arrive to the stadium pretty early on game day. And when I’d get to Arrowhead, the parking lot would already be full. Honestly, if you show up to tailgate in Kansas City at 8:30 a.m., you’re already late to the party.
"And I can tell you that after 13 seasons and playing in nearly every NFL stadium, not every city is like that.
"Just seeing how dedicated Chiefs fans are, it always instilled a sense of pride in me to put on that jersey and go out and play for them. I don’t think that’s always the case in pro sports, and I never took that for granted during my five years in Kansas City. I’m going to miss that."
Smith later wrote that he leaves Kansas City wishing he had been able to give something back to the fans.
"I thought I was going to end my career in Kansas City. So it’s still a little surreal now that my time with the Chiefs is over and I’m moving on to Washington. It’s been an incredible five years, and I think that after everything, I really only have one regret:
"That we didn’t win that ring.
"But I’m proud to look back on my time there and know that because of the work my teammates and I put in together, the franchise is in a better place than when I arrived."
Smith is right about that.
The Chiefs were coming off a 2-14 season when Andy Reid was hired as coach and John Dorsey came on as general manager. One of the first moves the team made was trading for Smith.
After finishing with a 25-55 record the previous five seasons before Smith, the Chiefs were 53-27 in his five seasons.
Smith concluded his letter by showing his gratitude to a many, many people, including those who donated to his charity.
"Thank you to my Chiefs teammates for your love and sacrifice. I’m truly going to miss taking the field with you.
"Thank you Coach Reid for putting your trust in me and always reminding me to be myself. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.
"Thank you Clark Hunt, the Hunt family and the Chiefs organization, for giving me an opportunity.
"Thank you to the people in the organization who don’t get nearly the credit they deserve — the assistant coaches, the trainers, the equipment guys and on down the line. Everybody in the organization, top to bottom. You guys each played a role in all the success that we achieved. You should be proud of that, because I know I was proud every day to work with each of you.
"Thank you to the Chiefs Kingdom for being some of the craziest, most dedicated fans in the country.
"And thank you to the Kansas City community and all the friends my family and I have made during our time with you. To see all the farewell donations that have been made to the Alex Smith Foundation — all in increments of 11 — has been really special. It’s a tremendous gesture that my family and I have been very touched by. We appreciate you. We’re better people because we were fortunate enough to spend the last five years with you.
"So thank you, Kansas City. You will forever be a huge part of who I am as a quarterback and as a man."
You can read the whole letter here.