After a long and successful career, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith is retiring from the NFL.
One of the most productive NFL wide receivers in the 21st century has made his retirement official. Showcasing a career that saw five Pro Bowl appearances, three all-pro selections, and a touchdown in the grandest stage of them all, the Super Bowl, Steve Smith has decided to hang up his cleats for good.
Smith went out in a way that only Steve Smith could replicate; a letter of retirement to Roger Goodell that contained the Steve Smith flair that most of the football world has grown to love and respect:
— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) January 6, 2017
Smith was drafted in the third round by the Carolina Panthers in the 2001 draft out of Utah. His success was imminent as he returned the opening kickoff of his first NFL game for a touchdown. After spending his first NFL season mostly as a special teams player, Smith became a staple for the Panthers holding franchise records in receptions (836), receiving yards (12,197) and touchdowns (67) to name just a few.
Following his release from the Carolina Panthers in 2014, Steve Smith found a home in Baltimore, where he would spend the final three years of his career. After announcing that 2015 would be his final season, Smith tore his Achilles tendon in Week 8, ending his season. Smith would take to Twitter to announce his return to the game in 2016:
— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) December 30, 2015
In 2016 Steve Smith became the 14th player in NFL history to secure 10,000 receptions over the course of his career. Smith will be remembered as a wide receiver that was as good at trash talking as he was with his hands, as evident by his retirement letter.
Next stop for Mr. Smith? Canton, Ohio. Enjoy retirement, and thanks for the entertainment.