The 2016 NFL Regular Season is now over and with the Baltimore Ravens failure to make the post season, so is the career of Wide Receiver, Steve Smith.
The question that has been asked is whether or not he is a Hall of Famer and there is strong case to suggest that he is.
Entering the National Football League as Carolina’s 2001 third round pick from the University of Utah, Smith would earn First Team All Pro Honors and a trip to the Pro Bowl, though that was as a Special Teams Player. He would finish fourth in Kick Return Yards and in All Purpose Yards. The next year, he would still perform at Special Teams, but was now a starting Wide Receiver and would finish seventh in All Purpose Yards.
Smith would see his returning duties decrease as his offensive duties increased. 2003 would be his first 1,000 Yard season and more importantly he would help the Carolina Panthers reach the Super Bowl, catching 4 passes for 80 yards and a Touchdown in a losing effort against the New England Patriots. This was a good year for Steve Smith but the following campaign would not be as he would break his leg in the opening game of 2004, thus rending that campaign over for him right after it began. 2005 would be a much better year.
Statistically speaking, 2005 was Steve Smith’s best year. The wideout would lead the NFL in Receptions, Receiving Yards and Receiving Touchdowns, the “triple crown” of his position. He would also earn his second trip to the Pro Bowl and his second First Team All Pro Selection. Fittingly, he would win the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Smith would be with Carolina for eight more seasons, five of which saw him exceed 1,000 Yards, three of which saw him finish in the top ten. He would also go to three more Pro Bowls and in 2008 would lead in Yards per Reception.
Released by the Carolina Panthers in March of 2014, Steve Smith would sign with the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens would be rewarded with the signing, as he would have another 1,000 Yard season, his last in the NFL. He would have another two good seasons with Baltimore.
Steve Smith is currently 7th all time in Receiving Yards and All Purpose Yards, 12th in Receptions and 26th in Receiving Touchdowns. These are good numbers, even in this more era of offense and he has a Hall of Fame case. His detractors will point as him being a volatile player, but over his long career, he only played for two teams, showing that teams wanted him to play there.
We will be ranking Steve Smith highly once he is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which will be in 2022.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to thank Steve Smith on an incredible career and wish him the best in his post-playing career.