Ex-Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith gets six years in prison

Jimmy Smith, a five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who is arguably the best player in the short history of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise, recently began serving a six-year prison sentence for gun and drug crimes.

Although it has gone largely unnoticed in the media, Smith has been in prison in Mississippi since March 29, and his tentative release date is November 8, 2018.

Smith was sentenced to four years in prison for possession of cocaine and two years in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

It’s sad to see anyone end up like this, but it’s particularly sad for Smith because his NFL career ought to be an inspirational story of a guy who believed in himself when few others did — and was proven right. He played his college ball at Jackson State after no big-time schools gave him a look coming out of high school, and he persevered after his football career fizzled in his first three years in the NFL, with the Cowboys cutting him in 1993 and the Eagles cutting him in 1994. Through his first three years in the NFL, he hadn’t caught a single pass.

But when the expansion Jaguars picked Smith up in 1995, he became a star: He lasted 11 years in Jacksonville and topped 1,000 yards in nine of those seasons, and by the end of his career he had totaled 862 catches for 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns. Unfortunately, off-field trouble also plagued Smith: He was arrested for drunk driving in 2001 and suspended four games in 2003 for a failed drug test. Now his drug problem has ensured that he’ll be behind bars for a long time.

89 responses to “Ex-Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith gets six years in prison

  1. so in essence he is like Jimmy Dix from the last boy scout. heard he was pumping hair-on and i was like mother humper you play all that time then wanna pump loose rocks geezis its shark week

  2. What a shame. I went to his football camp when I was young and he seemed like a really nice guy.

  3. rambo08 says:
    May 13, 2013 7:00 PM
    Titus Young isn’t even the best WR in prison right now.

    Made me laugh.

    Sad to see anybody ruin his life.

  4. Sucks. He couldn’t shake cocaine addiction. Like Andy Reid said, its like wrestling a grizzly bear.

    He really was good with the fans, too. Very humble guy. Terrible situation.

  5. Jimmy Smith made mistakes in life, yeah, but to me, he’ll always be the huge star who ate at the restaurant my high-school butt worked at. Nicest guy in the world, at least as far as I ever knew, always said hi, always willing to shake a fan’s hand or sign an autograph. I’ve got the autograph he signed out to me framed on my wall along with his rookie card, his 116-reception card, and a ticket from the River City Relay game–the game that ended an era with the departure of Mark Brunell.

    Regardless of his life outside of football, his retirement left a void no receiver has been able to fill since. #82 shouldn’t be worn again in Jacksonville, and he belongs in the Pride. Even if it, you know, takes him a few years to get there.

  6. 4 years for possession of cocaine
    2 years for possession of a FIREARM by a CONVICTED FELON

    makes all the sense in the world

  7. What child molester was ever sentenced to just six months? What an absurd statement.
    Secondly, there are no “victimless crimes” that involve drugs and alcohol, at least not as long as the users and the abusers have families.

  8. Our legal system is a disgrace. Is he a criminal? Yes. Does he belong in a prison for 6 years? No. There are violent criminals doing less time and some doing no time.

  9. This is terrible news. You couldnt help but be a semi jags fan in the 90s and those coughlin era teams were a real joy. im really sorry to hear it. Im a packer fan and Jimmy Smith was one of my favorite players ever.

  10. I really think the NFL, needs to really think about there drug testing policies. It’s not right for the NFL to make Billions off these players. Knowing what’s going on. Then paying these players Millions of dollars. It’s crazy that an average American. Who makes 30k a year. Fails a drug test. And is fired immediately. The NFL should do something like: 1st offense. Rehab during the 4 week suspension. 2nd offense. A one year suspension. 3rd offense. Banned for life from the game. Having to pay back all guaranteed money. How many of these stories do you think we would be reading about a season then?

  11. That picture makes him look like an older, meaner Tim Duncan. Maybe it’s the nose.

  12. So he didn’t actually hurt anybody? Why is the govt ruining his life? If he wants to do cocaine that’s his dumb decision to make. Sickening that he gets locked up for 6 years for that.

  13. Its a shame but the guy made millions in the NFL and apparently blew all his money, leaving him to deal blow to try and maintain a standard of living he had while he was still playing.

    No sympathy at all. If he’d been smarter with his NFL money he could have lived a great life and never had to work another day for the rest of it.

  14. All you squawking about too much time and victimless crime, what was the gun for? I guess he was headed to the gun range for some target practice?

  15. He will be out in 3 years on good behavior and then re-arrested for possession within 4years. What a waste!

  16. Mr. Smith needed a better lawyer, but it is sad…world in your palm and you want a rock and gloc in each.

    Good player, Eagles could have used those 11 seasons 4 sure

  17. i feel so bad…a drug addict, gun toting criminal has been so much more successful than me. something is seriously wrong with this country.

  18. I remember when Smith was first suspended for the positive test. Some in the media attacked the testing because a nice guy like Smith could not be on drugs, just another example of the press taking care of their buddies. And some wonder how average guys get in the HOF.

  19. As far as I know his only previous conviction was for drunk driving, a felony, not any violent crimes. This recent conviction was for possession not for intent to distribute. (He wasn’t a dealer) His problem is clearly substance abuse. Simply possessing a firearm does not mean he had any violent intentions only that he was breaking the law by possessing it due to his felony drunk driving conviction. The only victim in these crimes was himself.

  20. The fact that he got a longer sentence for the cocaine than the gun is exactly what’s wrong with American society (I’m an American).

  21. To all those who claim this a “non violent” crime, what was the gun for? How much coke was for sale? Don’t make excuses just cuz dude is famous. He’s probably suffering from head trauma and that’s why he’s acting like a totally douche.

  22. I liked Jimmy Smith, but I do believe that Mark Brunell, Tony Boselli, and Fred Taylor would have something to say about “best player in Jaguars history.”

  23. I hope he can stay clean in jail, maybe it’ll save his life?
    6 years seems a little harsh and if any rapist or child molester get less time than that then we need to take a look at what we’re doing with our judicial system.

  24. For everyone saying his was a victimless crime – you’re wrong. If it were just weed, I’d be in total agreement. We could clear the prisons of folks with only weed violations and end up way ahead. But coke…and a weapon??? That’s a victim waiting to happen.

  25. Sad , I hope Keenan Mccardell is having a better retirement … Those guys were fun to watch.

  26. Charging people with a felony for possessing a narcotic is criminal in its self and part of what is wrong with this countries judicial system. However with the expanded privatization of the prison system and the need for perpetual growth under the capitalist economic model we can only expect to see more people in prison for more(/less?) reasons. We start off with prisons for criminals then we move on to non desirables like drug users and far left/right political dissidents and migrant workers etc…

  27. I’ll agree with comments about 4 years for possession seeming excessive.

    But I’ll even say so for the gun charges as well. Logically he wouldn’t be a “felon” with a gun, without the drug “crimes” making him a felon.

    If you don’t support prison for personal drug use, and support the right to own guns (I get that 1/2 of you probably don’t), the arbitrary disarmament of someone for using drugs is not consistent. Now that I lost at least half of you, I’ll probably lose the other 1/2 because I believe in consistently applying principles to individuals.

  28. He should be in rehab for his addiction but seeing as how he was arrested in a backwoods state he gets prison. I really shouldn’t blame the state as that happens in lots of states where non violent drug offenders go to prison while the criminal wall street bankers go free. JUSTICE MY BUTT.

  29. A sad story to read. I see how as fans we don’t understand how these guys ruin their lives after such an amazing opportunity. But to be honest, at the end of the day, they are just people like the rest of us. Struggling with addictions, broken homes, tarnished relationships. No matter how much money you make or how much fame you gain, we all have to wipe our own asses and brush our own teeth. They are just people. And it’s sad whether you play in the NFL or pump gas for a living. We all still deal with loneliness, being rejected, feeling like you have to live up to something bigger than what you’re capable of. I wish him the best and pray that he gets his life in order just as much as the next guy. Godspeed, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to hold yourself to that higher standard and no one can do if for you.

  30. Funny how guys like guys like Marshall Fualk and Barry Sanders look like they could suit up again and poor Jimmy looks unfit to navigate a hoveround through the two aisles of greeting cards at the local Walmart.

    …and yet when Jimmy plows into a school bus, you can bet it’s in something cooler than a black Mustang.

  31. Ok, yeah- the fact that he’s in prison for 2 months before the media breaks it is the only shocker here. J-ville has been quietly covering up for this guy for YEARS. Everyone in town knew he was a total coke head. He was in rehab, failed the 3-strikes policy, was suspended four games, always REMORSEFUL….yak…

    Cocaine a victimless crime, huh? How did it get here? Bribery, forgery, and high-stakes drama, plus murder, slavery, intimidation, gangs….shoot, that before it even left Columbia! Then it gets here and it’s shootings, rehabs, major costs to the taxpayers….broken families, fatherless children, overdoses…..my God I’m just getting started. The only moron that could think it’s a victimless crime is obviously on the stuff themselves!

  32. Wow, i always thought of Smith as one of the hard working good guys in the league. Hope he gets the help he needs.

  33. OK. You and I make a $1 million ++ dollars a year playing a game.We pay taxes and big union dues. We hang out with the wrong crew, get into the coke scene and then our wonderful players union does what ??Nothing. No mandatory re-hab, nothing. NFLPA is a freakin joke. Always has been. Only about get more $$$ and some pension deals. They are morons. Jimmy’s “friends” were coke dealers that only wanted his NFL paychecks. Where was his family when he had this adiction ? Too busy shooping for bling and booze with Jimmy’s paychecks ? Pathetic

  34. Sad but I can appreciate the city keeping things under wraps for as long as it could! No idea? Whoa, for reals, ah man…my reacts after reading, dam good wide out!

  35. dadsource…virtually every thing you listed is a direct result of the prohibition of the substance whose only real value lies in the fact that it is illegal…..whatever the ills of the drug itself(and they are many)you must separate them crime and profits generated by prohibition……when alcohol was a prohibited substance,it created exactly the same scenario…..and with it being made legal,they all virtually disappeared,leaving only the actual ill effects of the alcohol itself(of which there are a multitude)..

  36. Again a criminal with great football skills. The NFL was just a bump in the road. He would have been in jail a lot sooner. Thanks to the NFL for keeping him out of jail for as long as they did.

  37. @dad source

    Most of what you listed is directly attributable to cocaine being illegal. Just like alcohol during prohibition once made illegal gangs and other criminals will fill the void. If all drugs were legalized most of that goes away. Portugal decriminalized drugs and used most of its resources it had previously allocated for enforcement to prevention and treatment. The early results are promising.

  38. Is this accurate? 2 years for cocaine possession? Or was it with intent to deliver? If its the latter then he deserves it. As cocaine has ruined many lives of users family members and victims of crimes they commit. But if it was a small amount for personal use. 2 years is outrageous. Jimmy smith was a great player teammate and all around good person. I need to find more details. Before I judge. This smells fishy

  39. Please stop with “how sad it is” every other day when one of these guys ends up in jail, end up hurting others, etc. SAD? Pathetic. Sad is when someone is born physically or mentally handicapped, or something bad happens to someone that they did not do themselves. Lack of self control, self-indulgent after you have been given the top 1% of athletic ability in society and plenty of opportunities is not sad. It is pathetic. Let’s save our sympathies for the lesser of society, not these types.

  40. This is sad because Jimmy Smith was always one of the nicest players, even after he retired. One night 5-6 years ago I ran into him at a local Jax Beach bar and he ended up inviting us to hang with him and his friends. I was like 25 at the time and told him I had a ball Mark Burnell signed for me as a kid. We were right around the corner from my house so he told me lets go grab it and he would sign it for me. Sure enough, I ended up getting the ball signed and having some drinks with him and his friends. Sucks he has an addiction problem, and I hope he can finally get clean . He has done a lot of good things for people that will never be remembered because of his multiple drug arrests.

  41. Real World, Real Problems & It Happens To Ordinary People Every Day. Only Difference They Get More Years In Prison For Same Crime. REAL TALK!!!!

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