Former NFL Player Chris Smith Dead at 31 From Unknown Causes

Former NFL Player Chris Smith Dead at 31 From Unknown Causes

Chris Smith, who played for numerous NFL franchises including the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns, passed away last week at the age of 31.

The defensive end’s journey to professional football came after his time playing college football at the University of Arkansas. In 2014, he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round. Although he only played with the team for three seasons, his presence deeply touched all who knew him. In fact, Roy Miller III, an NFL defensive tackle who played with Smith, took to social media to discuss his grief.

“My brother I was just thinking how proud I was of you chasing your dreams in the XFL you made a whole room laugh when you laughed you always found a way to make any situation positive RIH Smitty,” he wrote on Twitter.

He was eventually released by the team and was later signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent. During his time with the Bengals, he recorded the best season in his career, playing in all 16 games with a whopping 26 tackles and three sacks.

Despite having the best season of his career, Smith went on to sign a three-year, $14 million contract with the Cleveland Browns in 2018. However, his time with the Browns was short-lived after his girlfriend tragically passed away in a car accident. He was released by the team the following year after missing several games in order to care for his daughter.

Cleveland Browns are saddened to hear about Chris Smith’s sudden death

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Browns DE Chris Smith,” his former team tweeted following his death. “Chris was one of the kindest people, teammates, and friends we’ve had in our organization. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

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Smith periodically played for the Las Vegas Raiders and the Carolina Panthers, but ultimately announced his NFL retirement in March 2021. Following his NFL career, he joined the XFL, a professional football league, and signed with the Seattle Sea Dragons.

The team publicly expressed their condolences in a statement, saying “Chris was a powerful presence in the locker room. Loved and admired by his teammates and the coaching staff. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family at this difficult time.”

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