Chris Smith, a former NFL defensive end who played for five teams in eight seasons, died on April 17, 2021, at the age of 31. His cause of death has not been confirmed, but his high school and his agent announced his passing on social media. Smith’s death came as a shock to his family, friends, and fans, who remembered him as a kind, generous, and talented person. His death also sparked a lot of discussion and speculation on Reddit, where users shared their condolences, memories, and theories about what happened to him.
Chris Smith’s NFL Career and Personal Life
Chris Smith was born on February 11, 1990, in Salisbury, North Carolina. He attended West Rowan High School, where he was a standout football player and wrestler. He then went to the University of Arkansas, where he played as a defensive end for the Razorbacks. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft, and played for them for three seasons. He then signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017, and was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 2018. He also had brief stints with the Las Vegas Raiders and the Houston Texans in 2020, but did not play in any games. He finished his NFL career with 67 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles in 60 games.
Smith’s personal life was marked by tragedy in 2019, when his girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was killed in a car accident in Cleveland. Cordero was the mother of Smith’s daughter, Haven Harris Smith, who was born just a month before the accident. Smith and Cordero were driving on the highway when a tire on their car blew out, causing them to hit the median. They both got out of the car, and Cordero was standing on the shoulder when another car struck her. The driver of the other car admitted to drinking before the crash, and was charged with vehicular homicide. Smith was devastated by the loss of his partner, and said he was trying to stay strong for his daughter.
Chris Smith’s Death and Reddit’s Reaction
Smith’s death was first reported by his high school on Twitter, saying, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Chris Smith. He was a great athlete, student, and friend. He will be greatly missed by the West Rowan community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, also confirmed his death on Twitter, saying, “Rest in Peace Chris. Condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones. We will miss you.”
Smith’s death was widely covered by the media, and many of his former teammates, coaches, and opponents expressed their grief and sympathy. His death also became a trending topic on Reddit, where users posted and commented on various subreddits, such as r/nfl, r/news, r/sports, and r/Arkansas. Some of the posts and comments were:
- Former NFL player Chris Smith dies at 31: This post on r/news had over 400 comments, and many of them were about Smith’s tragic life and the mystery of his cause of death. Some of the comments were:
- “His poor child: Smith began his NFL career in 2014 when he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a defensive lineman. But his personal life was marred by tragedy. In 2019, his girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed in a car accident just weeks after giving birth to their child. Heartbreaking.”1
- “Oh wtf”1
- “It isn’t known how he died. This post on r/sports had over 200 comments, and many of them were about Smith’s career and legacy. Some of the comments were:
- “He was a great player and a great person. He always had a smile on his face and was always willing to help others. He was a leader on and off the field.
- “He played for my team, the Browns, for a season. He was a solid rotational player and a good teammate. He had a lot of potential and a lot of heart. I’m so sorry for his family and friends.
- “He was one of my favorite players at Arkansas. He was a beast on the field and a gentleman off it. He always represented the Razorbacks with pride and class. He was a role model for many young players and fans. He was taken too soon.
- This post on r/nfl had over 500 comments, and many of them were about Smith’s impact on the Browns and the NFL community. Some of the comments were:
- “To know him was to love him. He was one of the kindest players and people that I’ve ever met. He was willing to give you the shirt off his back for you. It’s hard just knowing people like that can go at any time.
- “He was a great teammate and a great friend. He always had a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. He was always there for you when you needed him. He was a joy to be around. He was a brother to me.
- “He was a great player and a great human being. He always played with passion and intensity. He always respected the game and his opponents. He always gave his best and never gave up. He was an inspiration to many.
Chris Smith’s Cause of Death Reddit: The Mystery Remains
Despite the widespread attention and discussion that Smith’s death generated on Reddit and other platforms, his cause of death remains unknown. His agent and his family have not released any details or statements about what happened to him. Some Reddit users speculated that he might have died from a heart attack, a stroke, an overdose, or a suicide, but none of these theories have been confirmed or supported by any evidence. Some users also wondered if his death was related to the COVID-19 vaccine, as he had recently posted a photo of himself getting vaccinated on Instagram. However, there is no proof or indication that the vaccine had anything to do with his death.
Smith’s cause of death may or may not be revealed in the future, depending on the wishes of his family and the results of any medical or legal investigations. However, his cause of death does not change the fact that he was a beloved and respected member of the NFL community, and that he left behind a daughter, a family, and a legacy that will not be forgotten. His death also serves as a reminder of the fragility and unpredictability of life, and the importance of cherishing every moment and every person that we have. As one Reddit user wrote, “Life is short. Hug your loved ones.