The Cleveland Browns have announced that they have parted ways with defensive end, Chris Smith. Smith featured in nine games for the Cleveland Browns this season but failed to impress. This could majorly be down to the fact that his girlfriend Petara Cordero was tragically killed in an accident on the I-90 in September earlier this year.
Cordero struck the passenger side door of a veering Mazda on the shoulder of the I-90. She was later transported to Fairview Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Speaking after the tragic accident, Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens threw his weight behind Chris Smith, saying that the defensive end was well-liked in the locker room and that every Browns player sympathised with his loss. Kitchens continued by saying that Chris Smith was important to the team and to the locker room as a whole.
Chris Smith was a former fifth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. He played in all 16 games for the Browns last season and started in two of those games. Smith collected 21 tackles and a sack during that period. Interestingly, Chris Smith was in uniform on September 16 for the game against the New York Jets, just days after his personal loss. Smith played in the games that followed as well. He was also impressive in the Browns’ most recent game, the rematch against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fortunately, since Chris Smith is a veteran, he is eligible to collect termination pay and receive his full salary for the year. That, however, may prove to be a minor consolation for the former Jaguars’ defensive end in trying times like these.
The move to release Chris Smith could have an adverse effect on the Browns’ squad depth this season. The Cleveland Browns parted ways with defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence last week. They also decided to trade defensive end Genard Avery to the Eagles in October. Myles Garrett is suspended for the season for his role in the physical altercation with Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, while Olivier Vernon has been dealing with a knee injury.