Steve Smith Sr. Set To Retire After 2016 Season

Steve Smith Sr. announced today that next Sunday will most likely be his last game

Per ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley: Steve Smith is 89% sure he will play his last game against the Bengals next Sunday. The 37 year old has played 16 seasons in the NFL and will most likely call it quits after next week. According to Raven’s staff writer Garrett Downing, Smith was emotional in his press conference and talked about packing his career away in boxes.

A perfect fit for the Ravens

The wide receiver joined the Ravens in 2014 after being cut by his long-time team the Carolina Panthers. He has spent 3 seasons with the Ravens, catching for 2,500 yards and 14 touchdowns. Since being with the Ravens, Smith has not missed a beat. His grittiness and toughness fits right in with AFC North football. It would have been fun to watch him play in the Ravens-Steelers rivalry for a longer time.

After rupturing his Achilles last November, it was unsure if Smith was going to return for another season. The double rupture of the Achilles tendon can be a career-ending injury for many players, especially at such an old age. A month later, Smith announced that he would return for the 2016 season with the Ravens. There was no official timetable for his return, but he was able to start the regular season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

Hall of fame career

Steve Smith Sr. is no doubt a first bout hall-of-famer. His numbers with the Ravens are just a glimpse of how great of a career he’s had. This season, Smith eclipsed the 1,000 reception mark and moved into 7th all time in receiving yards. Throughout his college and NFL career, he has always had a chip on his shoulder. He was drafted in the 3rd round in 2003 by the Carolina Panthers. In the 13 seasons he spent in Carolina he racked up 12,202 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns.

At only 5’9″, Smith isn’t afraid to be a bully on the field. His toughness and ability to make plays off of short receptions is amazing. He has a stiff-arm that can take down almost any NFL corner-back, just ask Adam Jones of the Cincinnati Bengals.

In 2013 against the New England Patriots, Smith told corner-back Aquib Talib “Ice Up, Son!” in his post game interview. There are not many other receivers in the NFL that can talk trash and get into the face of defenders like Steve Smith. He is different from today’s players because he does his trash talk strictly on the field, never on social media.

Even with his accomplishments on Sundays, Smith is also hall-of-famer off the field. This season he is the Raven’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee. Along with his wife Angie, the two founded the Steve Smith Family Foundation, which helps families against domestic violence.

The NFL is going to miss Steve Smith Sr. His character is one you would be lucky to find in any other player.

Next stop: Canton, Ohio

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