Sport's Illustrated Don Banks talks about how new Ravens' wide receiver Steve Smith had made his mind up at the end of a disappointing 2012 playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers and was going to retire at the end of the 2013 season.
Baltimore's Steve Smith tells me he had decided to retire a Panther after 2014, but he's happy to be a Raven now: http://t.co/sRwhvfj3V5— Don Banks (@DonBanks) June 5, 2014
Steve Smith had this to say about his decision that offseason:
The only people who knew were my close friends and my wife.
This year was actually going to be my last year in Carolina. I was going to retire. I was done. I had been waking up every day about 3 a.m. and wrestling with some things in my quiet time.
I finally decided and made the commitment to my family. I told them, 'I'm done. I don't think I can do it much longer. My knee was sore and I knew all the work I had put into my career and what it would take. I came to terms with it, that this year was going to be my last year ever playing football.
However as the season wore on, the Panthers had been reported to mistreat their star wide receiver. When it all culminated in his sudden release from the team, it left a bitter taste in the veteran's mouth, one that he wanted to get out in the form of a three-year $11 million deal with the Ravens.
When I got released, and how it happened, it made me feel a certain way. It gave me a little bit maybe that I had been missing. My wife said, 'How do you feel about that?' And my response was to start working out again every day after that. I started jogging, my knee started feeling better, and the next thing you know, I got a three-year deal here.
The Ravens are clearly glad that Smith decided to return his focus to football as he has been a serious name throughout OTAs so far in both his mentoring ability as well as his ability on the field. He's been seen teaching Marlon Brown how to play bigger than his already massive size in between torching Matt Elam and Jimmy Smith for large plays. Of course, you can't forget about the swagger that he has already brought to the team in the form of his quotes that we wrote about earlier.
After this contract with the Baltimore Ravens, I am done. I'm going to be stay-at-home dad, and I'm going to get on with the rest of my life's work. I know sometimes there are people saying, 'Oh, he needs to just let it go.' Believe me, I will. I'm going to let it go. But I'm going to take a few people down with me. Not in spite, but just fun. I'm going to enjoy playing ball again. I'm going to have fun here.