BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In August of 2015, Steve Smith Sr. first murmured the word “retirement” saying, “I feel like this is the best place, if this is going to be the end, this will be the best place to end.”
Sadly, a rare double rupture of his right Achilles put his victory lap with Baltimore on hold. However, Steve Smith would never go down without a fight.
After a 9-month, grueling rehab process, the Ravens welcomed Smith back to play more football almost a year to the day from when he announced his retirement. But, it’s safe to say the 37- year-old receiver is having quite the comeback season.
Smith, now playing in his sixteenth season in the NFL, is having an incredible season and is eighth all-time in receiving yards and 13th in receptions. He ranks second on the team in yards and touchdown catches and third in receptions.
Coach John Harbaugh is constantly impressed by Smith and recently commented that he would be happy to have him back in Baltimore for a 17th NFL season.
Smith has not publicly addressed his NFL future, but has said several times, “‘contractually’ this is my last season.”
But as his teammates, like receiver Mike Wallace has said, that “if anybody can keep playing, it’s him.”
The truth is, the team just plays better when he’s on the field. The Ravens are 5-2 in seven games he has started and finished — and winless in the two games he missed with an ankle injury.
So maybe 2016 is his last year in the NFL, and with all of the honors and accolades he’s acquired, it could be more than enough. But Steve Smith is a different kind of beast, one that likely wants another Super Bowl ring before hanging up his cleats.
Perhaps he will be back in Baltimore in 2017, perhaps not.