BALTIMORE — NFL wide receiver and former University of Utah Ute Steve Smith Sr. said earlier this year the 2015 season would be his last, but Wednesday morning Smith confirmed he will not retire and plans to play with the Baltimore Ravens in 2016.
Smith announced in August this year would be his final year, according to NFL.com, but Wednesday morning he confirmed via tweet that with the blessing of his family, friends and fans he would be back on the field.
The Baltimore Sun reports the announcement is “hardly a surprise”, stating that momentum for the return has been growing since even before Smith injured his ankle in a game against the Chargers in November.
Smith played for the Utes in 1999 and in 2000 after two years at Santa Monica Junior College. In 1999, Smith led the Utah receivers in yards with 860, and he scored 8 touchdowns while averaging 20.0 yards per reception. He amassed 743 yards and 4 touchdowns during 10 games in 2000, and during that season he averaged 21.2 yards per catch, according to the team’s website. He missed a bowl game in 2000 after suffering an injury in the team’s final game of the regular season vs BYU.
The wide receiver was taken in the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, where he played until 2013. After being released by Carolina in spring of 2014, Smith signed with the Ravens.
During the 2015 season, Smith announced this season would be his last. The Sun reported that, at the time, Smith said the retirement was due to an interest in spending more time with his family. Click here for more from the Sun on the announcement.