Ravens receiver Smith calls it quits after 16-year career

Sun Jan 1, 2017 6:34pm EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Steve Smith Sr., a tough, elusive, explosive receiver over 16 years in the NFL, confirmed his retirement after Sunday's loss to the Bengals in the team's regular season finale.

"It's over, it's done. I know it's my time," he said.

Smith ends after 1,031 catches for 14,731 yards and 81 receiving touchdowns. He ranks seventh on the National Football League's all-time list for receiving yards.

Smith, 37, went out quietly on Sunday with three catches for 34 yards in the 27-10 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium and did not reach the end zone.

"I wasn't going to concern myself with getting more passes or going out like Kobe (Bryant), anything like that," Smith said. "Just go play. That's what I did."

Earlier this week, Smith said he was "89 percent sure" that Sunday would be his final game, and cameras followed him closely throughout Sunday's contest.

Baltimore's season ended with two straight losses, including last week's gut-wrenching 31-27 loss at Pittsburgh which eliminated the Ravens from the playoffs.

"Reality is going to hit us at some point that we don't have him," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "What a player, what a competitor. It's a tough reality."

"Legendary player," said fellow Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace. "I was just telling him, 'You can play a couple of more years if you want to. Let's just keep it going.'   Continued...

Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (left) hugs Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (right) after their game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports