In sad news, Chris Smith, a defensive end who played an impressive eight seasons in the NFL has passed away at only 31 years old. His alma mater West Rowan High School in North Carolina confirmed his death.
The cause of death remains undisclosed.
Rest in Peace to a West Rowan Legend! Chris was a better person than he was player! The impact he had on those around him will be remembered forever! pic.twitter.com/9oVKyM4Gs2
— West Rowan Football (@WRowan_Football) April 18, 2023
“Rest in Peace to a West Rowan legend!” West Rowan High School’s football wrote on Twitter. “Chris was a better person than he was player! The impact he had on those around him will be remembered forever!”
In a news report from the Salisbury Post, his passing was officially confirmed.
Over the span of seven years (2014-2021), Smith proudly represented five NFL teams – Jaguars, Bengals, Browns, Raiders and Texans.
Spanning his entire football career, he took part in 72 games and even began two for the Cleveland team back in 2018.
Throughout the duration of his career, he was able to accumulate a total of 11 sacks, 80 tackles and three forced fumbles..
“Rest in paradise Chris Smith. Hometown hero and a brother to everyone. Such a kind soul. This is Heartbreaking,” former Browns teammate David Njoku wrote.
“Rest in Peace Chris,” wrote Smith’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus. “Condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones. We will miss you.”
Smith showcased his stellar football skills at the University of Arkansas, where he was credited with a Second-Team All-SEC honor in 2013.
In 2014, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
Subsequent to his NFL career, he performed in four games with the Seattle Sea Dragons of the XFL this season and accumulated five tackles earlier.
Tragically in 2019, Petara Cordero, who was Smith’s partner and the mother of one of his three children, passed away after being hit by a car as she left his vehicle.
“I’m doing good. I’m better than I was,” Smith said in November. “I’ve gotten used to the new normal. I think that’s from being around my teammates, my family. Football’s helped me so much.
“Me as a spiritual person, things happen for a reason. You don’t like the way they happen, but God doesn’t make any mistakes. She’s one of God’s angels. He had to take her home.”