Cornerback Jimmy Smith, a Baltimore Ravens lifer who was part of the team that won Super Bowl 47, announced on Monday that he's retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons, and will sign a one-day contract so he can retire with the only team he's ever played for.
Jimmy Smith, Forever a Raven. 💜 pic.twitter.com/nIfgkjvbQv
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 3, 2022
Smith, 34, told Josina Anderson that he's retiring because it's time to give his body a rest.
Just spoke with #Ravens CB Jimmy Smith--retiring today after 11 seasons. Smith was in the middle of writing thank you notes to those who impacted his career when he returned my call telling me why it's time: "My body has taken a beating. My body is happy. I'm happy. No regrets."
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 3, 2022
Smith was the 27th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, selected by the Ravens after four standout years at Colorado. In just his second season, he helped the Ravens make it all the way to the Super Bowl, where they faced the San Francisco 49ers and their QB Colin Kaepernick. He even provided a few of the game's major highlights, making back-to-back stops at the goal line and breaking up what would have been the game-winning touchdown in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Injuries were a major part of Smith's career. In seven of his 11 seasons, according to the Ravens website, injuries caused Smith to miss at least four games. He had a season-ending lisfranc injury in 2014, which seriously affected his play in 2015. Back injuries and a high ankle sprain kept him out of commission for five games in 2016. He tore his Achilles near the end of the 2017 season.
Injuries continued to pile up for the rest of his career, but he did make it into 10 games in 2021 despite dealing with an ankle sprain. He was a free agent at the close of the 2021 season, and was not signed before the start of the 2022 season. But as he told the team website before the end of last season, he wasn't desperate to find work. He was happy just to spend time with his family.
"I've got three boys and now a girl," Smith said near the end of last season. "With the boys, they're old enough I can start getting them into sports. They're getting active. I've got time to figure out stuff long-term. I'm in no rush to get to work or anything. I don't have to, so that's a blessing.
"Part of it is, 'Do I even want to put my body through something like this again?' So I do cherish these last games. I'm getting old. I've been through a lot of injuries and they start to pile up on you."