Will Smith (American football)

Will Smith
Smith in 2012.
No. --     Free agent
Defensive End
Personal information
Date of birth: (1981-07-04) July 4, 1981
Place of birth: Queens, New York
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 282 lb (128 kg)
Career information
High school: Utica (NY) Proctor
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18
Debuted in 2004 for the New Orleans Saints
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Tackles 457
Quarterback sacks 67.5
Interceptions 2
Stats at NFL.com

William Raymond Smith III (born July 4, 1981) is an American football defensive end who is currently a free agent. He played college football for Ohio State and was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Early years

Smith was born in Queens, New York to William and Lisa Smith.[1] He was raised in Utica, New York.[2] At Proctor High School in Utica, Smith was a USA Today All-American pick, and was rated by Prep Football Report as the best defensive line prospect in the state. As a senior he had 20 sacks.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2¾ in 267 lb 4.49 s 4.05 s 7.42 s 38½ in 9 ft 9 in 30 reps 23
All values from Ohio State Pro Day, except for 20-ss and Wonderlic, which are from NFL Combine

430-pound bench press. 585-pound squat. 325-pound power clean.[3]

New Orleans Saints

Smith was selected as the 18th pick in the 1st round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He had a successful rookie season with 30 tackles and 7.5 sacks. In 2005 he had 48 tackles and 8.5 sacks and played well enough that the Saints did not re-sign Darren Howard thus making Smith the starter opposite Charles Grant for the 2006 season. Smith has gradually established himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL.

In his first season as a full-time starter, Smith became a leader of the defensive line and emerged as one of the NFL’s top defensive ends. He was voted to the Pro Bowl and finished tied for 14th in the NFL with a career-best 10.5 sacks. Smith played in 14 games, sitting out the finale with the Saints having clinched a playoff berth and also missing one contest with a knee injury. The club’s No. 1 pick in 2004 has been a force since his arrival in New Orleans, notching 33.5 sacks in four seasons. His 26.0 sacks in his first three season is the second-most in club history in so short a span (Charles Grant, 27.5, 2002–04). Smith brings energy, toughness and a hard-nosed approach to each game, setting the tone for the entire defensive front, and he’s equally strong against the run. In his brief career, he has played in 62 games and posted 215 tackles (156 solo) and 13 forced fumbles.

In 2006, he was named to his first Pro Bowl as a starter.


Turned in a strong rookie year with 59 tackles (41 solo), 7.5 sacks, a team-high six forced fumbles and a fumble recovery... Played in all 16 games and started four, recording a sack in seven games...Sack total ranked second in the NFL among rookies and fourth in club history for a rookie...Came on strong over the last eight games with 36 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery...Had six tackles (four solo), a sack and a forced fumble vs. San Francisco, Sept. 19...Had four tackles (all solo) and a sack at Atlanta, Nov. 28...First of a three-week stretch where he recorded a sack, including vs. Carolina, Dec. 5 and at Dallas, Dec. 12, when he also added a forced fumble...Dec. 19 at Tampa Bay had a key forced fumble in the fourth quarter that set up a game-winning march. Also made a downfield block earlier in the quarter to spring WR Michael Lewis for a 53-yard punt return...Equaled season-high with eight stops (seven solo), 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble with a fumble recovery at Carolina, 1/2/05...Posted a forced fumble in each of last four contests, the first player in club history to do so in four-straight contests.


Tied for eighth in the NFC with a team-leading 8.5 sacks, despite starting nine games and not becoming a full-time starter until the final six contests...Had at least one sack in six contests...Recorded 85 tackles, six pass defenses, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery...Tallied five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble at Carolina, Sept. 11. Marked the fifth-straight contest Smith had caused a fumble, the first player in club history to do so... Started at LDE vs. Atlanta, Oct. 16 and had eight tackles and a sack...Top performance came at New England, Nov. 20, with a career-high 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble against defending Super Bowl Champions ...Started at RDE at New York Jets, Nov. 27 and responded with six tackles and a sack...Started at LDE vs. Detroit, Dec. 24 and had six tackles, a sack and deflected a pass.


Started 14 games at RDE, declared inactive vs. San Francisco, Dec. 3, with a knee injury and vs. Carolina, Dec. 31, with the Saints having clinched a playoff berth...Posted five or more tackles in seven contests...Ranked 14th in the NFL with a career-high 10.5 sacks and added 56 tackles (35 solo), two pass defenses, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery...Had a sack in each of the first three games, and added a fumble recovery at Green Bay, Sept. 17... Notched five stops, a career-high two sacks and a forced fumble at Tampa Bay, Nov. 5...Had a pair of sacks again at Atlanta, Nov. 26 – where he also deflected a pass and forced a fumble – and had two more sacks at Dallas, Dec. 10…Was also a force in the postseason, with eight stops in the NFC Divisional Playoffs vs. Philadelphia and seven tackles at Chicago in the NFC Championship.


Smith recorded a team high 7 sacks, 66 tackles and a safety. He sacked Carolina Panthers starting QB David Carr early in the season, ending Carr's season.


The Saints agreed to terms with Smith on a six-year, $70 million contract with $26 million guaranteed. The deal makes him the 3rd highest paid defensive end in the NFL.

On December 2, 2008, Smith was one of six players suspended for use of Bumetanide a diuretic, which can be used as a masking agent for steroid use. It is believed that the diuretic was found in StarCaps, a weight-loss supplement that he had been taking. Smith's original punishment was announced as a four-game suspension for the final four games of the 2008 regular season.[4] Enforcement of the suspension was delayed as other players challenged the decision through federal and state courts, and the league allowed all players involved in the matter to continue playing pending a final resolution of the case.[5] Smith's suspension was later reduced to a two games and an additional two lost paychecks, and was served at the beginning of the 2011 NFL season.[6]


Smith sacks Jason Campbell.

Under new Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams, Smith has had a very solid year. After 15 games, he has 13.0 sacks, 49 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and one interception and was honorable mention All-Pro by AP and SN.


On May 2, 2012, Smith was suspended by the NFL for the first 4 games of the 2012 season because of his alleged role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.[7] Smith's suspension was ultimately overturned on appeal to former commissioner Paul Tagliabue.[8] Smith started all 16 games of the 2012 season, and was credited with 58 tackles and 6 sacks.


For the 2013 season, Smith was slated to move to the outside linebacker position in the 3–4 defense favored by the Saints' new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan. However, Smith suffered a knee injury (a torn ACL) in the Saints' third preseason game, against the Houston Texans on August 25, 2013, and was reported to be out for the season. [9] On August 27, 2013, the Saints placed Smith on injured reserve.

On February 12, 2014 Smith was released from the New Orleans Saints. [10]

New England Patriots

On May 5, 2014 Smith signed with the New England Patriots.[11] The Patriots released Smith on August 24, 2014.[12]

Career statistics


Smith is married to Racquel (née Joseph). They have two children together and he has another child from a previous relationship.[13]


  1. ^ "Will Smith". Ohio State Buckeyes. Archived from the original on January 31, 2007. 
  2. ^ "New Orleans Saints: Will Smith". New Orleans Saints. National Football League. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Saints 2004 Draft Day One
  4. ^ Six Players Suspended for Diuretics, The New York Times, Published: December 2, 2008.
  5. ^ Court clears way for NFL suspensions in StarCaps case, Associated Press (via USAtoday.com) Updated April 28, 2011.
  6. ^ NFL suspends Vikes' Williams, Saints' Smith in StarCaps case, nfl.com Updated: September 3, 2011.
  7. ^ Four suspended for Saints’ bounty program, Vilma for all of 2012 Pro Football Talk Posted on May 2, 2012.
  8. ^ "Saints player bounty suspensions overturned on appeal". NFL.com. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  9. ^ Larry Holder, "New Orleans Saints veteran linebacker Will Smith will miss 2013 season with knee injury, source confirms", Times-Picayune, August 26, 2013.
  10. ^ "New Orleans Saints part ways with Jabari Greer, Roman Harper, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma", NewOrleansSaints.com, February 12, 2014.
  11. ^ Patriots sign DE Will Smith
  12. ^ Patriots reportedly release Tommy Kelly, Will Smith
  13. ^ http://www.neworleanssaints.com/team/roster/Will-Smith/5a973547-fc14-4db8-ae04-cbf2200ba20c

External links

  • Will Smith's Official Web site
  • New Orleans Saints bio
  • New England Patriots bio
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