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Has Steve Smith had a Hall of Fame worthy career?

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Has Steve Smith had a Hall of Fame worthy career?

Has Steve Smith had a Hall of Fame worthy career?

I say yes, although some would probably disagree. Smith announced Monday that he planned to retire after this season.

If I am making Smith’s case for Canton, I’d look at three traits:

1.  Longevity – This will be Smith’s 15th NFL season, and he has played his entire career at a high level. His first 1,000-yard season was in 2003. He did it again last year (1,065 yards) at age 35. Smith has had eight 1,000-yard seasons, including four straight from 2005-2008. He’s currently 14th on the all-time list for receiving yards (13,262), with Reggie Wayne (14,345) and Andre Johnson (13,597) the only active players ahead of Smith. If Smith has another 1,000-yard season, he’ll crack the top-10 all-time for receiving yards, and he’ll pass two Hall of Famer receivers, James Lofton (14,004) and Cris Carter (13,899). Smith’s numbers are already in Hall of Fame company.

2.  Dominance – Smith was the last receiver to lead the league in yards, catches, and touchdowns in a single season. Only two other receivers have ever done that – Jerry Rice in 1990, and Sterling Sharpe in 1992. Smith did it in 2005, with 1,563 yards, 103 catches, and 12 touchdowns. That same season, Smith went off in the playoffs with 27 catches for 335 yards and three touchdowns in three games, leading the Panthers to their only Super Bowl appearance. Two years later in 2007, Smith led the NFL in receiving yards (1,421) when the Panthers were last in the NFL in pass attempts. To be a Hall of Fame player, I believe you must be a dominant player at your position. During his best seasons, Smith was dominance.

3.  Presence – Spend 15 minutes watching Smith, and you can tell how passionate he is. Not just during games, but during practices. Smith doesn’t believe in taking snaps off, and he won’t stand for teammates taking snaps off either. Smith was a team leader for 13 seasons with the Panthers, and he became a team leader with the Ravens the signed. Sometimes Smith looses his temper, but he raises the level of every team he plays on. That’s another mark of a great player. Another reason why I believe Smith should be headed for Canton.

RELATED: Steve Smith makes decision on retirement

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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