Former New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith has retired following six NFL seasons.
Smith was drafted by the Giants in the second round in 2007 and established himself as one of the most reliable slot receivers in the NFL during his time in New York, leading the Giants to one of the greatest upsets in NFL history with a Super Bowl XLII victory over the then-undefeated New England Patriots in February 2008.
However, Smith’s best NFL season was 2009, when he compiled 107 receptions for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition, 2009 was his second consecutive season where he played in 16 games, and it appeared as if the former USC Trojan great had a bright future ahead of him in the NFL.
Unfortunately, his career took a turn for the worse when he signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011. Injuries became his achilles heel in Philadelphia as the Eagles placed Smith on the physically unable to perform list on August 13, 2011 as a result of a 2010 knee injury. He was activated from the PUP list on August 27, 2011 and things looked to be on the right track for Smith before his season ended when he was placed on injured reserve on December 12, 2011 due to a bone bruise in his knee.
Smith has not appeared in an NFL game since then.
The receiver released a statement regarding his retirement saying, “I’ve been blessed to play the game I love at the highest level for the past six years. I will always cherish my time with the New York Giants and our Super Bowl victory in 2007. I also want to thank the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers organizations for the opportunities they gave me. This was not an easy decision, but it’s the right decision for me at this time.”
Smith will be remembered as a solid contributor and offensive weapon for the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles when he was healthy, although his retirement begs the question of what might have been had injuries not afflicted him.