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Steve Smith signs retirement letter: ‘I … will no longer be antagonizing defensive backs’

Steve Smith Sr. (Getty)

BALTIMORE, Md. — Former Carolina Panthers great Steve Smith played his last game on Sunday but found one last clever way to cement his legendary trash-talker status.

Smith posted a photo of his official retirement letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Twitter Friday morning.

The letter read, “Dear Commissioner Goodell. This is to notify you that as of today I, Steve Smith Sr., will no longer be antagonizing defensive backs. I am retiring from the National Football League.”

The 37-year-old Baltimore Raven finished the season with 70 receptions for 799 yards and five touchdowns.

“I enjoyed it,” Smith told ESPN. “But it’s over and it’s done. I know it’s my time. Some people say, ‘Can I play another year?’ I probably could but what I lose, I’m not willing to risk.”

Smith is a five-time Pro Bowl player, with all five selections coming when he was in a Panthers uniform.

The Los Angeles native was released by the Panthers in March 2014 and signed with the Ravens.

He retired as one of 11 players to record more than 1,000 catches and 14,000 yards receiving.

“Playing this game and the expectations that are expected from you, there’s a lot of pressure,” Smith said in a postgame interview. “The pressure I’ll have now is getting kids to school on time. Do I eat a pint of ice cream or a gallon of ice cream? It’s going to be different, but it’s something I look forward to.”

Smith finished his career with 1,031 catches, 14,731 yards and 81 touchdowns.