Steve Smith has officially played his last NFL game.
The former Carolina Panther said last week that he was “89 percent” sure he’d retire, but ended the speculation after Baltimore’s 27-10 loss vs the Bengals on New Year’s Day.
Smith was interviewed by CBS’ Jenny Dell, saying “Yeah, that’s it,” when prompted about calling it a career. The fiery wide receiver couldn’t contain his emotion after the game while speaking about his family.
Steve Smith Sr. tells CBS "that's it" after Ravens final game of the season. pic.twitter.com/EeCg8iHY9j— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 1, 2017
“I’ve got a beautiful wife at home, Angie, and four kids that need their dad,” Smith said, fighting back tears. “And I need…I need my kids, so I’m going home to Charlotte to build my family.”
Smith, who keeps his home in Charlotte after spending the first 13 years of his career with the Panthers, said his family has plans to build a new home in the area.
“I’ve got a lot of catching up to do,” Smith said. “This game has given me a lot, but at the same time, I need to give my family more.”
Smith paid homage to the important people in his life with a special pair of cleats for Sunday’s game. Included on them were the Panthers and former quarterback Jake Delhomme, as well as Smith’s parents and former teammates.