Former NFL player Chris Smith has died at 31: Tributes are pouring in for the eight-season defensive end who last played for the Texans in 2021 and just signed a contract with Seattle in the XFL
- Chris Smith has spent time with seven different teams during his eight-year NFL career
- He signed an XFL contract with Seattle a few weeks before his death at the age of 31
- DailyMail.com provides the latest global sports news
Former NFL defensive back Chris Smith has passed away at the age of 31, just hours after playing for the Seattle Sea Dragons in the XFL.
The 2014 NFL Draft selection has spent time with seven different teams across eight seasons in the league, ending his professional career with the Houston Texans in 2021.
He played Sunday in Seattle’s XFL win over the St. Louis Battlehawks, and as of yet the cause of death has not been announced.
In 2019, Smith’s girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed on a Cleveland highway after his Lamborghini suffered a tire failure and was hit with the mediator.
Cordero got out of the car and was standing on the side of the road when another car crashed into the side of their car, while a 47-year-old woman admitted to drinking.
Chris Smith, pictured playing for the Baltimore Ravens in 2019, has died at the age of 31
Smith, pictured correctly with Miles Jarrett, also played for the Cleveland Browns for two years
Smith celebrates with coach Larry Jackson after beating the Jets while with the Browns
Smith’s girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed in a car crash in 2019, just weeks after giving birth to their first daughter.
A month before her death, 26-year-old Cordero gave birth to her first child.
In a tweet revealing Smith’s death Monday, the West Rowan High School football account said: “Rest in peace a West Rowan legend!”
Chris was a better person than a player! His impact on those around him will be remembered forever! “
Cleveland Browns toughhead David Njoku added in his tribute: “Rest in heaven Chris Smith. Hometown hero and brother to all.
“What a good soul. This is heartbreaking.”
Jerry Mitchell, one of the guys who played with Smith in college, tweeted, “RIP Chris Smith, your smile lit up the room and you spread positivity everywhere you go.
You’ve always had a passion for working hard, chasing your dreams, and keeping God first!
Live on your legacy as someone who spread love with a smile. I love you brother.
Another Arkansas teammate, linebacker Broderick Green, added: “Wow. I can’t believe it. RIP for the nicest teammate I’ve ever seen. A pure joy to be around.”
Roy Miller III, a defensive tackle who spent nine seasons in the NFL, writes: ‘Brother I was thinking about how proud I am of you chasing your dreams in the XFL you made the whole room laugh when you laughed you always found a way to make any situation a positive RIH Smitty.
When he was playing for Cleveland, Smith’s girlfriend Petara died in a tragic car accident
Smith is pictured walking off the field after a game with the Raiders in December 2020
Tributes to Smith were made by close friends and former teammates via social media
The sad news was later confirmed by the Salisbury Post, describing him as “the ultimate redeemer” who was a “generous donor to local schools and projects”.
Smith was first drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round in 2014, and went on to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans, before dropping out of the league in 2021.
His attempt at football’s return to Seattle saw him in the XFL in March, and he played five times for the team before his death.
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