Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.
The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.
“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”
Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.
“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”
Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.
The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.
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According to a report from Ian Rapoport, there’s one team that could ruin a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore.
Rapoport reported on Sunday morning that the Tennessee Titans were one team that appears poised to claim the 37-year-old outside linebacker.
The Titans entered Sunday at 8-5 and tied for the division lead in the AFC South.
A connection for Suggs in Tennessee is Dean Pees, who was a linebackers coach for the Ravens from 2010 and 2011 before he became defensive coordinator, a role he held from 2012-2017. He became the Titans defensive coordinator in 2018.
The Ravens don’t have much power when it comes to bringing the franchise icon to Baltimore, as they are currently last on the waiver wire.
Suggs will be on waivers until Monday at 4 p.m., where he’ll find out which team — if any — claimed the former Defensive Player of the Year.
Adam Schefter previously reported that Suggs might not report to the team that claims him, should it not be the Ravens.
Whatever the case is with Suggs, the resolution is coming by Monday evening.
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Terrell Suggs is currently available for 31 NFL teams, but there's reportedly only one team he wants to play for.
According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, Suggs only has interest in returning to the Ravens, where he spent the entirety of his career before heading to Arizona this offseason.
Suggs was placed on waivers by the Cardinals on Friday.
Schefter's report states that Suggs has told some people he is unlikely to report anywhere other than Baltimore, showing a desire to, "finish his NFL career in the same city in which he started it."
Suggs is the all-time franchise leader in sacks (132.5) and games played (229) for the Ravens. This year, he has 5.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits and 23 tackles as a member of the Cardinals. It's his first season not in the purple and black.
The Ravens rank 15th in the NFL with 34 sacks, and could use a pass-rusher like Suggs before the team's playoff push.
Suggs' position to other teams is likely genuine, as the 37-year-old would certainly love to join the 12-2 Ravens before a playoff push. He was a member of the Ravens when they beat the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 and also has seven Pro Bowls and a Defensive Player of The Year award to his name as well.
With just two games left before the playoffs begin, Suggs' wild ride from Baltimore to Arizona looks to be headed right back to where his career started.
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