July 27, 2016
The http://www.jaguars.com/news/article-PressRelease/Jimmy-Smith-to-be-inducted-into-Pride-of-the-Jaguars/6de3b713-72d0-42bb-8090-dbc44b8af0a0">Jacksonville Jaguars are adding former star wide receiver Jimmy Smith as the sixth member of its ring of honor, Pride of the Jaguars.
The five other honorees in Pride of the Jaguars are former owners Wayne and Delores Weaver, the franchise's first-draft-pick offensive tackle Tony Boselli, running back Fred Jackson and quarterback Mark Brunell.
Smith retired suddenly in http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/17146681/former-jacksonville-wr-jimmy-smith-inducted-pride-jaguars">May 2006, but the former wide out’s legal troubles, which include drug and weapons charges, made it hard for the team to recognize him.
Early in his career, Smith was the perfect example of a player who overachieved and overcame adversity nearly every step of the way.
At Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss., he was a standout receiver who didn’t get any looks from Division I schools. He did get offered a scholarship to Jackson State University and made the most of that opportunity. He finished his time with the Tigers with 110 catches, 2,073 yards and 16 touchdowns. The smooth wide receiver graduated with a degree in business management.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Smith in the second round with the 36th overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. Injuries hindered his play for most of his time in Dallas. In his rookie year, Smith broke his leg and missed all but seven games, and he didn’t record a catch in the entire season.
In his second season with the Cowboys, Smith was expected to become the third wide receiver before he was forced to have an emergency appendectomy in August 1993. He missed the entire season after developing a post-surgery infection that nearly cost him his life.
The Cowboys released Smith in July 1994 when he refused to take a pay cut. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles but didn’t make their roster.
After being out of football for the entire 1994 season, Smith’s mother sent a folder of his newspaper clippings to then Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin. This earned Smith a tryout, and the team signed him in February 1995.
In his first season in Jacksonville, Smith caught 22 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. In 1996, he scored 1,244 yards on 83 receptions and seven touchdowns, beginning a streak of seven straight seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards.
Smith played in all every Jacksonville game from 1995 to 2002 and became one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. In 2003, he only played in 12 games, as he received a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
The 2003 season saw Smith fail to reach 1,000 receiving yards. He only caught 54 passes for 805 yards and four touchdowns. He then bounced back in the 2004 season to catch 74 passes for 1,172 yards and six touchdowns.
In his last season in the NFL, Smith garnered 1,073 receiving yards on 70 catches with six touchdowns. His retirement in May 2006 shocked many fans. He denied rumors of facing a yearlong suspension due to substance abuse.
When he retired, Smith was a five-time Pro Bowl receiver from 1997 to 2001. He owned every receiving record for the Jaguars at the time and still owns 11 team records 10 years after his retirement.
He is still Jacksonville’s all-time leader in career receptions (862), receptions in a season (116), career receiving yards (12,287), receiving yards in a season (1,636) receiving yards in a game (291), career receiving touchdowns (67), receiving touchdowns in a game (3), consecutive games with a catch (80), highest average yards per catch (14.3), games with 100 yards receiving (46) and games with 200 yards receiving (2).
The wide receiver is still second in team history in all-purpose yards (12,875) and yards from scrimmage (12,286), third in touchdowns (69) and fourth in points scored in a career (418).
Smith’s life came crashing down soon after retirement. Police arrested him five times, and he even spent six years in prison in Mississippi.
The wide receiver’s cocaine addiction became public knowledge after his 2001 arrest while in the NFL. Smith is still working to control his addiction but has stayed out of trouble since being released from prison in 2013.
Jacksonville has been waiting a long time to honor Smith and will finally do so this season. When the Jaguars host the Minnesota Vikings on December 11, Smith will be inducted into Pride of Jaguars.