Former NFL defensive end Chris Smith has died, the Cleveland Browns and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, announced Tuesday. Smith was 31.
Smith was a member of the XFL's Seattle Sea Dragons this season.
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The cause of death was not disclosed.
"Chris was one of the kindest people, teammates and friends we've had in the organization," the Browns said in their statement.
Browns tight end David Njoku tweeted, "Hometown hero and a brother to everyone. Such a kind soul. This is Heartbreaking."
Smith spent eight seasons in the league, also playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Las Vegas Raiders and Houston Texans. He finished with 11 career sacks.
Smith started two games with the Browns during the 2018 season. During the 2019 season, Smith's girlfriend was struck and killed by a driver in a traffic accident. She was a passenger in Smith's car and exited the vehicle after it had a tire malfunction and hit the median. The two had just had a daughter together.
Smith made a comeback and returned to the NFL in 2020, playing eight games with the Raiders.
He played in college at Arkansas. Before that, he was a standout high school athlete at West Rowan High School just outside of Salisbury, North Carolina.