Ravens receiver Smith calls it quits after 16-year career
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[January 02, 2017]
(The Sports Xchange) - Steve
Smith Sr., a tough, elusive, explosive receiver over 16 years in the
NFL, confirmed his retirement after Sunday's loss to the Bengals in
the team's regular season finale.
"It's over, it's done. I know it's my time," he said.
Smith ends after 1,031 catches for 14,731 yards and 81 receiving
touchdowns. He ranks seventh on the National Football League's
all-time list for receiving yards.
Smith, 37, went out quietly on Sunday with three catches for 34
yards in the 27-10 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium and did
not reach the end zone.
"I wasn't going to concern myself with getting more passes or going
out like Kobe (Bryant), anything like that," Smith said. "Just go
play. That's what I did."
Earlier this week, Smith said he was "89 percent sure" that Sunday
would be his final game, and cameras followed him closely throughout
Baltimore's season ended with two straight losses, including last
week's gut-wrenching 31-27 loss at Pittsburgh which eliminated the
Ravens from the playoffs.
"Reality is going to hit us at some point that we don't have him,"
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "What a player, what a
competitor. It's a tough reality."
"Legendary player," said fellow Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace.
"I was just telling him, 'You can play a couple of more years if you
want to. Let's just keep it going.'
"I wish I had more time with him, but when you have greatness around
you, you just absorb whatever you can get from him."
Smith leads all active NFL receivers with 51 100-yard receiving
games, which ranks fourth all-time.
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Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (left) hugs Baltimore Ravens wide
receiver Steve Smith (right) after their game at Paul Brown Stadium.
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
been a privilege and an honor to be around him every day," said
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. "He never took anything for
granted. He showed our guys how to compete and play the game. One of
the highlights of my coaching career."
Smith nearly retired in 2015 but an Achilles injury in November of
that year prompted him to reconsider. He came back for another
standout season in 2016.
"I'll miss these guys," Smith said. "But, when they're in training
camp and I'm not, I'll be hanging out at the pool, doing a lot of
other things, like going to Disneyland in September. I hear it's
real slow then.
"And, just being a dad. I have lot to look forward to."
(Editing by Larry Fine)
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