As many defensive backs learned over the course of his 16-year career, Steve Smith Sr. is somebody you should never talk trash to. Known as one of the fiercest receivers in the game during his time with Carolina and Baltimore, he was a warrior on the field and a wizard with his words. The Denver Broncos pass catcher learned that lesson last week when he decided to disrespect the former five-time Pro Bowler – after Smith said Jeudy was not an elite receiver, but rather “just a guy.”
Smith, a 2001 third-round pick out of Utah, is never afraid to be brutally honest. So, when he said before the Broncos vs. Chiefs game that he didn’t think Jerry Jeudy was an elite wide receiver and he hadn’t lived up to the hype of being a first-round pick? The Bronco bristled.
Steve Smith Sr. said he was aware that his words had gotten around, and he attempted to speak to Jeudy to clarify his statement just before Denver took on the Chiefs on Thursday night. But the NFL Network commentator was turned away, saying that the player insulted him and cursed at him.
At that point, Smith took exception. Then, he took a microphone… and carved Jerry Jeudy to pieces.
“His response was, ‘[Expletive], I don’t mess with you,'” Smith told the live, viewing audience. Then, he delivered a pro-wrestling-esque promo that coldly cut down Jeudy.
“I’ll say it again, I’m sorry that I said you were just a guy, who’s an average wide receiver that [the Broncos] used a first-round pick on and isn’t doing anything,” Smith said. “I hope today that you actually show up in a way that you haven’t showed up in the last couple years since they drafted you.”
“So if you’ve ever got a problem with Agent 89, I’m sorry for saying that you’re an average wide receiver, that they eventually will move on, and when teams call me asking should they trade for you? I will say, ‘No, don’t trade for Jerry Jeudy because he’s mentally unable to handle constructive criticism from people who watch specifically – he can be a wide receiver.’ He could be a wide receiver, [but] he’s a Tier 3.”
With that, a disgusted Smith basically did a mic drop, telling the truck that he was done and that they could go back to the studio. Hopefully, after hearing those words, young Jerry Jeudy will heed them. Smith isn’t just a big talker, he also put up big numbers and left a huge impression on the game.
In 2005, Smith achieved the Triple Crown of receiving, leading the NFL in receptions (103), receiving yards (1,563), and receiving touchdowns (12). The Panthers announced in 2018 that Smith would be inducted into the franchise’s Hall of Honor.
Smith has also been involved in a number of charitable causes throughout his NFL career, including the Steve Smith Family Foundation, House of Ruth Maryland, and Athletes United for Youth. He was nominated for NFL Man of the Year in 2015 and 2016 while with the Ravens. He’s considered a surefire candidate for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame eventually but did not make the list of 15 finalists in 2023.
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