When the news hit Thursday that Jacksonville wide receiver Jimmy Smith was going to retire, it came as no surprise to me. Smith has overcome a lot in his 13 playing seasons (sat out a year following an appendectomy). He has had to fight through numerous injuries and a drug addiction that briefly sidelined his career.
Smith was a classic rags-to-riches story. After being the third receiver selected in the 1992 draft by the Cowboys (the No. 36 overall pick), Smith didn't catch a pass while with Dallas. It wasn't until 1995, when he caught on with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, that his career started to take off.
Now fast forward to 2006: Smith will retire with 862 receptions for 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns. He has more receptions than any receiver currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which means he should garner some consideration when his name is placed on the ballot.