Baltimore Ravens

Steve Smith Sr. closes book on career, moves on to Rocky Road ice cream

As the final seconds ticked off on the Ravens' 2016 season and on Steve Smith Sr.'s 16-year career, the introspective wide receiver found his mind drifting. His mind was suddenly consumed not by how he would spend his post-retirement life, but on how he would indulge after the game.

"Am I going to eat a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream?" Smith said when asked what was going through his mind in the latter stages of the Ravens' 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. "I just tried not to get emotional."

Smith got plenty emotional in the days leading up to the game. On Wednesday, he said that there's an 89 percent chance Sunday would be the final game of his career. The figure invoked his uniform number. Following the game, he said unequivocally that he had played the final game of his career.

"I enjoyed it, but it's over; it's done," Smith said. "I know it's my time. Some people say, 'Could I play another year?' I probably could, but what I would lose, I'm not willing to risk."

Smith, 37, had a relatively quiet finale, as did the rest of the Ravens' offense. He caught three of five targets for 34 yards. As the Bengals put the game away, Smith sat on the end of the Ravens' bench, and several of his teammates approached and thanked him.

"What a competitor, what a player," said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who hugged Smith when the wide receiver departed his news conference. "He did so many things for this team. It's definitely a tough reality."

Smith said his new reality will be spending more time at home in Charlotte, N.C. with his family, although he said the relationships he built during his three seasons with the Ravens will persist.

"I will be myself and I'll have a lot of free time, but at the same time, I'll get to be with my boys and come back to Baltimore and see some games and see Joe throw touchdowns," Smith said. "It'll be good. I'll mooch off some other guys that mooched off me for their suites [at M&T Bank Stadium]."