West News Wire: Chris Smith, a former NFL defensive end who experienced tragedy while playing for the Cleveland Browns, has passed away. He was 31.
On Tuesday, Smith’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and the Browns both acknowledged his passing. It was not immediately clear what caused the death.
Chris, please rest in peace, Rosenhaus penned on Twitter. To his family, friends, and loved ones, I extend my condolences. You are missed by us.
Smith participated in this season’s XFL with the Seattle Sea Dragons. He played in the NFL for Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Houston earlier for eight seasons.
Petara Cordero, Smith’s girlfriend, died in a car accident in 2019 when he was a member of the Browns. She had gotten out of the car he was driving. Cordero was standing on the road’s shoulder when the vehicle driven by a 47-year-old woman smashed into the passenger side of Smith’s car.
“Chris was one of the kindest players and people that I’ve ever met,” Browns All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett said. “He was willing to give you the shirt off his back for you. It’s hard just knowing people like that can go at any time.”
Smith and Cordero had a daughter shortly before Cordero’s death.
After playing at Arkansas, Smith was drafted by the Jaguars in the fifth round in 2014. He finished with 11 career sacks in 72 games.
Former Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield also expressed his sympathy for Smith.
“To know him was to love him,” Mayfield posted on Twitter along with a photo of Smith leading a huddle of Browns. “Heaven got a good one. We’ll never forget you and we’ll always miss you. RIP Chris.”