Week 17 of the 2016 NFL season will be the final game of wide receiver Steve Smith’s career. The 37-year-old former third round pick will hang up his cleats after 16 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers.
Baltimore Ravens Wide Receiver Steve Smith Set to Retire
Over his entire NFL career, Smith has been known to be one of the toughest competitors in the league. At 37 years old, many suspected that 2016 would be Smith’s final season. The five time Pro Bowler returned this season to try to help the Baltimore Ravens reach the post season. However, the team fell short after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 16.
Smith will finish his career seventh on the all-time list for receiving yards and is currently tied for 25th for all-time receiving touchdowns. If Smith were to have a big game this weekend, he could catapult himself into the top 20 for receiving touchdowns, thus cementing himself as a Hall of Fame player.
Since 1966, Smith is only one of three NFL players to earn the prestigious “triple crown” for wide receivers. In 2005, Smith lead the NFL with receptions, yards and touchdowns. The only other players to do so since 1966 are Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe, both of whom are Hall of Famers.
Smith is also well known for talking trash to other players on the field, sometimes leading to physical altercations. In 2008, the Panthers sent Smith home from training camp after getting in to a fight with one of his teammates. In a game against the New Orleans Saints, Smith and Malcolm Jenkins got in to a scuffle after Smith was hit late on a touchdown play.
Smith also was a threat in the return game, amassing over 4,000 yards on punt and kick returns, including six touchdowns. Despite not winning a Super Bowl, Steve Smith leaves behind a legacy that will surely land him in the Hall of Fame.