Former NFL pro Chris Smith has died. This was announced by his former agent, Drew Rosenhaus, on Tuesday. Smith was 31 years old. The cause of his death is so far unclear.
The German kicker and former teammate Dominik Eberle, who knew Smith well privately, recalls their last meeting in an interview with ran.de: "On Wednesday he came and said that he wasn't feeling well. He was sick. We thought it was something small. But then when he dropped out of the game we knew it was something bigger. When we got back on Monday we found him lying on the bed in his room. He wasn't conscious. It It took us a while to realize he passed away."
Since early March, the defensive end had played for the Seattle Sea Dragons in the XFL, a professional football league. His team defeated the St. Louis Battlehawks in St. Louis 30-12 on Sunday.
Smith was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. For eight years he played in the NFL, the National Football League, for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, the Carolina Panthers, the Las Vegas Raiders as well as for the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans, where he worked for the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens only attended practice sessions.
In 2019 - Smith was playing for the Cleveland Browns at the time - he had to accept a heavy blow of fate. His then-girlfriend Petara Cordero died in a car accident on September 11th. At that time, Smith's Lamborghini had a flat tire and was thrown onto the median as a result. His girlfriend at the time was in the passenger seat. When the 26-year-old got out, she was hit by an oncoming vehicle. Smith and Cordero have a daughter who was four months old at the time of the accident.
His manager said goodbye to his former protégé on Twitter: "Rest in peace Chris," wrote Rosenhaus. "My condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. We will miss you." Smith's other companions also use social networks for a final greeting, such as his former school, West Rowan High School in Salisbury, North Carolina, for which he played football. The Cleveland Browns also shared a touching post on social media: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Browns DE Chris Smith. Chris was one of the nicest people, teammates and friends we've had in our organization. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."
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Sources: Associated Press, NCC, ran.de, Twitter