Some sad NFL news to pass along tonight. Former Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Baltimore Ravens’ defensive lineman Chris Smith has reportedly died. He was 31 years old.
Jonas Shaffer, who covers the Ravens for the Baltimore Banner, responded to the news shared by the West Rowan Football Twitter account where Smith played high school football.
Smith was a fifth-round pick out of Arkansas, selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars 159th overall, in the 2014 NFL Draft. He appeared in 72 games, starting two, and recording 11 career sacks. His most recent time spent in the NFL came with the Houston Texans in 2021, registering eight tackles and 1.5 sacks across four games.
He spent time with three of the four AFC North teams, all of them except the Pittsburgh Steelers. Smith spent his 2017 season in Cincinnati, having a solid season with 26 tackles and three sacks across 16 games. He spent the next two seasons in Cleveland, registering 22 total tackles, and spent the 2021 summer and part of the fall with the Baltimore Ravens. Smith appeared in five games against the Steelers, recording five tackles and a QB hit.
Most recently, Smith had signed with the XFL’s Seattle Sea Dragons in early March. He appeared in four games, making five tackles. Tragically, Smith’s girlfriend and mother of his child was killed in a 2019 car accident.
No cause of death was announced.
UPDATE (11:22 AM): The Browns have confirmed the news of Smith’s death. Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebackers coach Aaron Curry has reacted to the news, tweeting on Tuesday.