Steve Smith Sr. has been one of the most consistent receivers in the league for the past 16 years, but he’s preparing to call it a career. At his press conference Wednesday, the Baltimore Ravens’ veteran wideout announced that Sunday will “probably” be his last game.
“I’m about 89 percent sure,” he said. “Pretty sure I know what I wanna do.”
Smith, 37, was visibly emotional while answering questions about his future, saying football has given him more than he could have possibly given back to it. He said he has “great support” from his family and cited his daughter, Bailey, as a reason for stepping away from the game.
“There’s a little girl named Bailey Smith who wants her daddy home,” Smith said.
Smith continued by saying this:
“Football is a conduit, something that gives you a platform, good and bad. But it gives you an opportunity. Football has given me more than I probably could give football back. For 2016-17 and beyond, this is probably my last game.”
When asked what he’ll miss most about playing in the NFL, Smith had some trouble gathering himself before saying “the interaction with some great guys. But that’s what telephones are for — text messages.”
Sunday’s game against the Bengals will be the 219th regular-season contest of Smith’s career. He ranks seventh all-time with 14,697 receiving yards and is 12th with 1,028 catches. No active player has more receiving yards than Smith, which is a testament to how long he’s played and how much success he’s had.