Wide receiver Torrey Smith delivered a heartfelt retirement announcement on social media Friday morning, wrapping up a career that produced 5,141 yards and two Super Bowl titles.
One of the best deep threats over the past decade, Smith entered this season ranked third in yards per catch among active players. His 16.1-yard average was behind DeSean Jackson (17.4) and Josh Gordon (17.3).
He announced his retirement in a video posted on the Twitter account Uninterrupted. It was in the form of a letter to the sport.
For those of you who have been wondering why things have been quiet, it was my decision https://t.co/SBdnwVgPyZ
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) September 13, 2019
“Dear football, I knew this day would come, and to be completely honest, I’ve been preparing for it my entire career,” Smith said. “You and I both knew the game for me wouldn’t last forever. It’s the NFL circle of life and I’m prepared for what’s next.”
Smith, a 2011 second-round pick of the Ravens, enjoyed his best seasons in Baltimore. He won a Super Bowl title in 2012 and produced his best season in 2013, when he finished with 65 catches for 1,128 yards and four touchdowns. He had a career-high 11 touchdown receptions in 2014, the season before he left the Ravens in free agency.
“He was a guy who could get down the field and then could track a ball down the field,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “How many times did he out-track a corner and either come up with the ball or get a pass interference call, just for huge plays. And I remember those plays so often. And then of course, the intangibles – just the personality, the leadership, the work ethic and all that.”
One of the most emotional moments of Smith’s career came in Week 3 of the 2012 season, when his younger brother Tevin Jones died in a motorcycle accident the morning before a Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots. To honor his late brother, Smith played and led the Ravens to a 31-30 win by catching six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith signed with the 49ers in 2015 and never lived up to expectations of a big-money contract. He bounced around three teams in his final four NFL seasons, but he won his second Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2017.
“God put you in my life for a reason, and I’m sure it wasn’t about X’s and O’s,” Smith said. “Every catch, every drop, every win, every loss, every trade, every cut — all of it — was a part of my journey. But remember, football is what I did. It’s not who I am. I’m looking forward to using the platform you have given me to continue to serve my true purpose — changing my community for the better.”
Doug Pederson, Smith’s coach with the Eagles, said, “Just want to congratulate him and his family. It’s a great opportunity for him in his next chapter of his life. He helped us win a championship and he is a great man.”
Smith has been at the forefront of player activism off the field, especially with at-risk youth in Baltimore. He has held annual charity basketball game there even after leaving the Ravens.
“I can’t wait to begin my next phase of my life where my heart is and never left — Baltimore,” Smith said in ending his announcement.