Steve Smith retirement announcement puts Ravens Super Bowl chips on table


May 28, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) speaks after the OTA at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Smith was always a guy who did things his way.  He was always too small, too loud, too outspoken, too fiery.  But he has managed to do the unthinkable, and that is stick around for 14 seasons, becoming one of the best wide receivers in the NFL along the way.

Steve Smith worked, and at times willed his way to success at the highest professional level.

Now, Smith is going out on his own terms.  The Ravens’ current number one wide receiver announced his intentions to retire following the 2015 NFL season at Monday’s training camp presser.

Smith’s announcement comes as a mild surprise.  Signed through 2016 and 36 years of age, Smith understandably has a chance to do what few in the NFL are able to do – decide when they want to call it a career.

One of the most prolific wide receivers of his generation, Steve Smith has amassed 915 receptions for 13,262 yards and 73 touchdowns over 198 games played – but has never won a Super Bowl title.  The closest Smith has come (other than last season) was in the Panthers’ 32-29 loss to the Patriots in 2003/04.

Why would Smith announce his retirement now, rather than at the conclusion of the 2015 season?  He certainly feels the time is right, but announcing his intentions now does something more important.  It sets him up to leave everything on the field this season in an attempt to go out on top.

Here’s hoping 89’s vision comes to fruition next February.

Next: 10 reasons the Ravens will win the Super Bowl: #6

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