Philadelphia Eagles: Torrey Smith was the consummate pro

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

While Torrey Smith may go down in history as a Baltimore Raven, the recently retired receiver played a huge part in the Philadelphia Eagles’ revival.

After 18 years playing wide receiver – eight of which were spent in the NFL – ex-Philadelphia Eagles signee Torrey Smith has officially retired from the NFL to spend time with his kids and be a regular dad.

Now sure, one could argue whether the decision wasn’t solely his own, as the Carolina Panthers did opt to waive the veteran deep threat in their final trim down to 53 after reducing his contract hit from $5 million to $3 million (with $1 million in dead money), Smith is now an ex-NFL wide receiver, and his career can be judged in completion.

And what a career it was.

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A second-round pick out of Maryland, the Colonial Beach, VA kid didn’t have to travel far to make his NFL debut, as he was selected 58th overall by the then-relatively new Baltimore Ravens. Paired up with seemingly always Eagles trade target Anquan Boldin and eventual free-agent acquisition Jacoby Jones, Smith served as John Harbaugh‘s deep threat for four seasons – including their Super Bowl-winning 2012 campaign.

From there, Smith reunited with Bolden as a member of the San Francisco 49ers where the duo had the unfortunate honor of playing under the first, and probably only season of Jim Tomsula‘s head coaching career.

While Chip Kelly did try to make a deal and bring Smith to the City of Brotherly Love, the price was simply too high, and he finished out the season with a 5-11 record in San Francisco – the worst record of his career to that point.

Fortunately, Kelly didn’t have to try to make another trade to team up with Smith, as he was hired on to replace Tomsula as the 49ers’ new head coach.

Coincidence? I think not.

Finally paired with his dream deep threat, Kelly swiftly plunged the Niners to new depths of turmoil – leading to a 2-14 record in 2016 and a trip back to college for the Chipster.

A free agent once more, Smith finally made his way back to the East Coast and signed a three-year, $15 million deal to join up with the Eagles under then-sophomore head coach Doug Pederson.

While in hindsight this move was the best of Smith’s career, at the time, Philly was far from a legitimate Super Bowl contender, as they were fresh off a 7-9 record with an intriguing Division II prospect locked into the role of franchise quarterback.

Paired up with fellow free-agent acquisition Alshon Jeffery on the outside, Smith helped to usher in a new era of  Philly football both on the field and in the locker room – a deceptively crucial part of any rebuilding process. While his 36 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns wasn’t all that exciting, especially when you consider Smith dropped an alarming number of should-have-been big plays, Smith’s experience gave Wentz a reliable target to rely on under pressure.

Smith was also a crucial part of Nelson Agholor‘s development from a *gasp* potential bust into a serious performer coming out of the slot – as Smith routinely hyped up the former USC product for having the most talent of any receiver on the team.

And for his efforts, the Eagles awarded Smith with his second Super Bowl ring.

Granted, they then followed up the deal by trading Smith to Carolina for almost immediately waived cornerback Daryl Worley, but clearly there was no hard feelings between the two parties.

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Ultimately, while Torrey Smith finished out his (now) final season with the Carolina Panthers and spent the bulk of his career with his hometown (adjacent) Baltimore Ravens, he was an integral part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ transformation from a middling franchise to Super Bowl champions, and set the stage for DeSean Jackson‘s eventual success as a deep threat. Enjoy retirement Torrey, I’m sure your kids will enjoy your couch hot takes.