Jimmy Smith’s story sad, not completely surprising

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When we unveil next month on NBC Sports Network’s Pro Football Talk the four members of each franchise’s Mt. Rushmore, former Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith could land on the Jacksonville version.

Earlier this year, he landed in a far worse place, for a tentative stay of six years.

It’s a sad story for a player who had an inspiring career, but it’s hardly a shock.  He had been arrested on drug charges in 2009, three years after his retirement from the NFL.  And when he called it quits in 2006, Smith’s departure came amid rumors of a looming cocaine-related suspension — and whispers of behind-the-scenes threats of litigation for anyone who would dare to publish those rumors.

Regardless of whether the rumors at the time were true, the reality is that cocaine has done far more than possibly end Smith’s football career prematurely.  Four of his six years behind bars flow from a conviction for cocaine possession.

What’s surprising is the manner in which Smith’s legal troubles avoided the media’s radar screen.  A third of his current prison term comes from the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, which means he already was a convicted felon — a fact that was never widely reported.

The prior conviction flowed from the 2009 arrest, which resulted from police finding crack cocaine, marijuana, and a business card with cocaine residue in Smith’s car.  Smith later pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, and he served six months on house arrest.

If Smith has an addiction, here’s hoping he gets the help he needs to overcome it, and that he can emerge on the other side of his sentence as someone who can help young NFL players (and other young people regardless of their athletic abilities) avoid the same fate.

15 responses to “Jimmy Smith’s story sad, not completely surprising

  1. He’s still the best receiver to ever play for them, are at the very least the 1a to McCardell’s 1b…I just hope he can exorcise his demons…I dont know what its like to have a chemical dependency on a substance but I can’t imagine its easy with or without help.

  2. “Jimmy Smith’s Sad Story”…… It should read just another idiot who pissed away everything he ever worked for. The only sad part of this story is he wasn’t sent to prison the first time he was caught. Every young player in the league can take something out of this story…… Go get F**ked up on coke for a few years, your only gonna get a slap on the wrist the first time you get caught.

  3. What’s sad is that I have heard that he was/is an all-around good guy and pleasant to talk to etc. He just can’t shake his addiction. but hey, lets throw him in prison for 6 years! That’ll learn him!

  4. When Jimmy moved away from Jacksonville because he “wanted less attention” we all knew he really meant he still wanted to get high without getting noticed…

  5. he will be free in 2019 technically he would have to be considered a free agent in 2013 of course he may not see the field from behind bars my guess is however if allowed to he still could help the jags ps is Blackmon following in smiths footsteps? just wondering

  6. Addiction is caused by the same thing that causes sports injury which is a multiple mineral deficiency. No matter what you are addicted to you cannot hope to permanently win the battle without fixing the mineral deficiency that causes addictive behavior. I had my battle with sugar and I only won through optimal mineral supplementation. same with my battles against sports injury. call me crazy, I don’t care. Study what comes out in sweat and what happens when you don’t replace what you sweat out and you still won’t even know. Study this tape titled DEAD AHLETES DON’T LIE and you’ll be closer to knowing

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