OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In announcing his retirement Monday, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith acknowledged that he endured many injuries and wants fans to think about the type of player he was when he was on the field.
"But, ultimately, I want them to remember -- championship," Smith said as he flashed the Super Bowl ring on his right hand.
Smith, 34, spent 11 seasons in Baltimore and will forever be remembered for stopping Michael Crabtree from making a catch on a fourth-down goal-line stand, which preserved the Ravens' 34-31 Super Bowl XLVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers in February 2013.
On Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh recounted the start of the 2012 season when Smith was coming back from a sports hernia injury and was limited to special teams. Smith was frustrated about not playing defense, and Harbaugh told him that he would "make the play that wins us the Super Bowl" if he stuck with it.
"This is not a lie," Smith said. "I didn't believe him."
The Ravens drafted Smith with the No. 27 overall pick of the 2011 draft. Known for his size and ability to shut down top wide receivers, Smith finished with 374 tackles, 74 passes defensed, 14 interceptions and three touchdowns.
Smith said the reason for calling it quits was "ultimately, my body." Injuries limited him from reaching a Pro Bowl. He missed a total of 49 games in his career.
"Jimmy wanted to be on the field," Harbaugh said. "Even if he wasn't 100% all the time, his 80 or 90% was better than most every other guy's 100%. That says a lot."
Smith pointed out that there is something that separates him in a stellar draft class that included Cam Newton, Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones and J.J. Watt.
"I probably have the draft class that might go down in Hall of Fame history," Smith said. "We had so many great players, and every single one of them played for another team now. I'm kind of happy that I'm the one who stuck it out."