The National Football League is more of a business than it is a sport that we all enjoy to watch. Sometimes, we can forget about that aspect, but we certainly remember when the dark side of the business is thrown in our faces.
On Tuesday, the Cleveland Browns released reserve defensive end Chris Smith, which is something that wouldn’t be huge news normally, but this is different. Smith was released less than three months after his girlfriend was killed in a roadside accident on a Cleveland highway.
Smith and his girlfriend, Petara Cordero, were pulled over on the side of the highway after Smith’s car had a tire malfunction, causing the vehicle to spin and hit the median. Tragedy would soon strike when Cordero exited the car and was hit by an oncoming vehicle.
“Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement in September. “Our entire organization mourns with Chris, his family and the Cordero family. We will do everything possible to offer them our support, comfort and any resources in this most difficult time.”
Cordero had just given birth to the couple’s daughter in August.
Smith, who was in the second season of a three-year, $12 million deal with the Browns, played in nine games this season, recording one tackle and a pass defensed.