Now that the Atlanta Falcons season is over there will be a lot of faces we have all become familiar with that will not be returning to the team for next season. Whether due to free agency, cuts, or retirement.
It appears as if the first domino has fallen when it comes to players leaving the Falcons team.
Atlanta Falcons veteran tight end will apparently retire from the league
During the last offseason, the Falcons made a trade with the Buffalo Bills for their veteran tight end—Lee Smith. They gave up a late-round pick in exchange for the blocking tight end.
It looks as though Lee Smith will be retiring from playing football, even though there has been no official announcement by him or by the team. The report comes from the following post:
As you can see a story was posted with Lee Smith, Kyle Pitts, and Hayden Hurst in it with the comment of “Happy retirement.” This obviously signals toward the fact that Lee Smith has played his final game in the NFL.
Smith was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft. He was subsequently released as he was competing with Rob Gronkowski, Alge Crumpler, and Aaron Hernandez.
He ended up joining the Buffalo Bills for a few years, followed by a stint with the Oakland Raiders, then another stint with the Bills before he was traded to Atlanta.
Lee Smith has made his living as a superb run-blocking tight end. It was his main role in the Falcons offense besides a few head-scratching end zone targets throughout the year.
With this news, Atlanta will be looking for a couple new tight ends in free agency or in the draft, as they will likely lose Hayden Hurst to free agency. With Kyle Pitts being a dominant receiving threat, the team will need to find their next blocking tight end.
Best of luck to Lee Smith in the future, he carved himself a role within the NFL for a decade, have to give credit to him for that.