Will Smith, who spent 10 seasons with the Saints and the 2014 offseason with the Patriots, was killed Saturday night in New Orleans in an apparent road rage shooting.
Smith played for the Patriots briefly in 2014. He signed with the team after being released by the Saints but was let go at the end of training camp.
Though Smith didn't spend much time in New England, it's clear that he made an impact on the franchise during his few months in the locker room. The Patriots organization, several of Smith's former teammates and Patriots team chaplain Jack Easterby all reacted to the news of Smith's death with heartfelt messages on social media.
Sad to hear the terrible news about Will Smith, he was a great person and I will forever remember the times I had with him. #RIPWillSmith— Rob Ninkovich (@ninko50) April 10, 2016
Cant believe tragic loss of Will Smith. Such a great person even knowing him briefly. So sad to c a great man lost from senseless violence— Nate Ebner (@NateEbner) April 10, 2016
Damn just heard about Will Smith! What a tragedy man. I don't even have words. I just hope and pray for his wife to make it out of this!— Jonas Gray (@jgray_ND25) April 10, 2016
RIP Will Smith! #unbelievable— Aaron Dobson 3 (@aarondobson17) April 10, 2016
RIP Will Smith...crazy crazy world— Daxton Swanson (@DSwan7) April 10, 2016
A true blessing 2 interact and work w Will Smith, even if just 4 a brief time. As a world we must do better. Our actions have consequences!— Jack Easterby (@JackEasterby) April 10, 2016
Our sincerest sympathies to the family, friends and former teammates who are mourning the death of Will Smith.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 10, 2016