Ravens receiver Smith likely to retire after Sunday’s game
OWINGS MILLS, MD. | Steve Smith sounds like a man who’s ready to close the door on an NFL career that has spanned 16 seasons and taken him well beyond his 37th birthday.
“Whether you want to or not, you’ve got to move on,” Smith said Wednesday. “It’s part of life. The world still turns.” The five-time Pro Bowl receiver will play in his 230th NFL game Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens finish the season against the Cincinnati Bengals. Standing in front of the media wearing a Darth Vader costume, Smith said he’s “about 89 percent sure” it will mark the end of his stellar career.
He used that number because he wears No. 89.
Though Smith spoke with deep emotion during his 10-minute session, he did not formally announce his retirement. He already did that once before, prior to the 2015 season, but ended up changing his mind after tearing his Achilles tendon in Week 7.
This time, when asked about his future beyond Sunday, Smith said, “Football has given me more than I probably can give football back. For 2016-17 and beyond, it’s probably my last game.”