Former NFL DE Chris Smith dies at 31

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL defensive end Chris Smith has died at 31, his agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed Tuesday.

No cause of death was released for Smith, who was a member of the XFL’s Seattle Sea Dragons this season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Smith in the fifth round in 2014 out of Arkansas, where he was a second-team All-SEC selection as a senior in 2013.

He played in 72 NFL games (two starts) and recorded 11 sacks and 80 tackles with the Jaguars (2014-16), Cincinnati Bengals (2017), Cleveland Browns (2018-19), Las Vegas Raiders (2020) and Houston Texans (2021).

The Browns released a statement on Tuesday.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Browns DC Chris Smith,” the team posted on Twitter. “Chris was one of the kindest people, teammates and friends we’ve had in our organization. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Smith played in an XFL game on April 9, recording two tackles in Seattle’s 34-33 loss to the D.C. Defenders.

During the 2019 season, Smith’s girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was struck and killed by a car while standing on the side of a highway in Cleveland. She had exited Smith’s vehicle after it had a tire malfunction and struck a median. The couple just had a daughter together.

–Field Level Media

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