Report: Ex-Browns DE Chris Smith Ready to Resume Career After Girlfriend's Death

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2020

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 07: Chris Smith #50 and Greg Robinson #78 of the Cleveland Browns walk off the field after the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns won 12-9 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Former Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith is looking to return to the NFL after being waived by the team in December, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter

Smith's girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was struck and killed on Interstate 90 in Cleveland last September. Smith and Cordero had exited his Lamborghini after it blew a tire, and Cordero was hit by a female driver traveling down the interstate.

ESPN's Jake Trotter spoke to a source who said Smith "is feeling better and ready to resume his career."

Smith and Cordero have a daughter together who was born in August.

Police investigated the crash and cleared the driver of any wrongdoing, determining she wasn't impaired or speeding at the time of the accident.

Smith appeared in nine games for the Browns last season.

Cleveland beat the New York Jets 23-3 on Sept. 16, his first game after Cordero's death. Following the victory, he discussed how difficult the situation had been, per the Beacon Journal's Nate Ulrich:

"When it first happened, I'm not going to lie, I was ready to give up, kind of like throw in the towel, retire. I had to just think about my daughter. [Cordero] would want me to play, and [Coach] Freddie [Kitchens] doesn't realize this, but he said this in a team meeting: 'When we go off emotion, we make wrong decisions. We've got to go off our passion.' So I've got to play for her. She's my why. My daughter's my why. My other two kids are, too. For my youngest, I've got to be mom and dad."

Smith, a fifth-round selection in the 2014 draft, will be entering his seventh season in the NFL in 2020. He has played in 60 career games and was a regular backup for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017 and Browns in 2018.