Former Ravens and Terps WR Torrey Smith announces his retirement from the NFL

Ethan Cadeaux
NBC Sports Washington

Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith announced his retirement from the NFL after eight seasons on Friday.

The former Maryland Terrapins star announced he was walking away from football in an open letter 'Dear Football' via The Uninterrupted.

Smith reflected on the past 18 years, from the time he first put on a helmet to the last time he ever tied his cleats.

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"From the very beginning, you were there for me," Smith said about football. "You were a safe haven that helped me block out all that I was dealing with at home. I was just a young kid with big dreams. I didn't know at the time that you would help pave the way for me to accomplish all of my goals. For that, I am forever grateful."

Smith, born and raised in Colonial Beach, Virginia, chose to attend school at the nearby University of Maryland where he became a star.

As a true freshman, Smith set an ACC single-season record in 2008 with 42 kickoffs for 1,089 yards. That record didn't last long, as he broke his own record the following season with 51 kickoff returns for 1,309 yards. Smith finished the 2009 season with 2,192 all-purpose yards, the second-most in ACC history behind on Clemson's CJ Spiller.

He was named to first-team All-ACC in 2010, his final season at Maryland.

The Ravens selected Smith with the No. 58 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, keeping the wide receiver close to home.

No. 82 spent four years with the Ravens, playing all 16 games in each season. In just his second season with the team, Smith played the No. 2 wide receiver role behind Anquan Boldin for the Super Bowl-winning Ravens.

Many remember his spectacular game earlier in the 2012 season against the Patriots. Smith played with a heavy heart, catching 6 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-30 victory after his brother passed away earlier that morning.

Following the Super Bowl season, Smith turned in the best year of his career in 2013, eclipsing 1,000 yards.

After his rookie contract expired in 2014, Smith signed a multi-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. He spent two years in the Bay Area before joining the Eagles in 2017, where he once again became a Super Bowl champion. Smith signed with the Panthers the following offseason and spent the 2018 season with them.

Multiple NFL players shared their support for Smith following his decision.

Congratulations to Smith on a great career.

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Former Ravens and Terps WR Torrey Smith announces his retirement from the NFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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