Steve Smith announced Monday that one of the all-time great receiving careers will be coming to an end after this season.
"I feel like it's time," the Baltimore Ravens star told reporters shortly after informing his teammates of his decision. "I've just been thinking about it and talking about it, and you train and I enjoy doing all that stuff, but ... every time you do an interview at my age, people always ask you, how much longer do you want to play?
"I don't know, it's just something about here, man, that I feel like is the best place. If it's going to be the end, this will be the best place to end. I think it's always easier when you know you have a finish line."
Smith is a five-time Pro Bowler who is one of 12 NFL players ever to have 900 catches, 13,000 receiving yards and 70 touchdown receptions. He is Carolina's all-time leading receiver after spending the first 13 years of his career with the Panthers.
After signing a three-year deal with the Ravens last March, Smith made 79 catches for 1,065 yards and six touchdowns last seasons.
He will be missed by his teammates, but ...
"Remember what happened the last time we had a player like this retire," linebacker Terrell Suggs said, referring to the Ravens' 2012 Super Bowl championship during Ray Lewis' final season. "Steve Smith is one hell of a guy and maybe we can send him out with something special."