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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Ravens CB Jimmy Smith Retires

After 11 seasons, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith is hanging up his cleats.
“Ultimately, my body. I’ve been through too many injuries,” Smith said at his retirement announcement.
The Ravens selected Smith with the 27th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after two standout seasons at the University of Colorado. Being able to spend his career as a Ravens player is something that Smith takes pride in.
“They stuck with me and showed me, as a man, like, ‘OK, they’re being loyal to you; you come out here and bust your butt [and] do whatever you can do to get back on the field,’ and that was always my mentality,” Smith said. “So, yes, I do take major pride in the fact that I played for one organization forever. It shows just the loyalty; being a Leo, that’s how we thrive – we like that.”
As a rookie, Smith recorded two interceptions. Smith earned a starting spot at cornerback in 2014 and landed a four-year, $41.1 million contract extension in 2015 that included $21 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $13 million.
Smith started 54 of 83 games over the next five seasons and posted nine interceptions over that stretch. Injuries caused Smith to miss some of the games. There were times where Smith fought through the injuries so he could play.
“Jimmy [Smith] wanted to be on the field. He was going to find a way to get himself out there one way or another. And right to the very end, that’s the thing that you always appreciated,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He was a football player, and football players want to play football, and I was happy when he was out there – I can tell you that. And even if he wasn’t 100% all the time, his 80% or 90% was better than mostly every other guy’s 100%. That says a lot.”
He tested the free agent market in 2020 but returned to the Ravens on a one-year, $6 million contract in 2020, then on a one-year, $5 million dollar extension in 2021. After sitting on the free agent market, Smith decided it was time to call it quits.
Among the highlights of Smith’s career was the Super Bowl-winning season in 2012. Smith was in coverage against San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree on the final play when the ball fell incomplete to seal the win.
Those big moments will be missed, but not as much as the “brotherhoods” that he’s formed over time in the locker room.
“You get these people that are in your life, and it’s like, I’m so used to being in this locker room with people and chopping it up and having fun and then all of a sudden, it’s just gone,” Smith said. “It’s the camaraderie, the memories you make, the big wins. The flights home from big wins are something I’ll always miss. Those are just epic. You get that win, you have a nice time on the plane, and it’s excellent.”

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