Ravens defensive back Jimmy Smith has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season, the league announced. Smith was originally facing a six-game ban, but the suspension was reduced to four games after Smith met with the NFL, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
Prior to the ban, the NFL was monitoring a child custody case between the player and his child’s mother. Last year, the woman had accused Smith of domestic violence and drug use, allegations that the cornerback denied. Ultimately, an NFL investigation found that the allegations had merit.
“The NFL found evidence of threatening and emotional abusive behaviors by Jimmy [Smith] toward his former girlfriend that showed a pattern of improper conduct. Our player’s behavior was inappropriate and wrong,” the Ravens said in a statement.
The Ravens added that after consulting with relationship and domestic violence experts, as well as non-football members of the organization, they “will allow Jimmy to return…after his suspension. Jimmy has acknowledged his behaviors were wrong and accepts full responsibility for them.”
Smith missed the final quarter of last season with a torn Achilles tendon, meaning that he’ll go roughly eleven months between snaps thanks to this suspension. In his injury-shortened campaign, Smith had 28 tackles, nine passes defended, and three interceptions.
The Ravens are undoubtedly frustrated by the situation, but they have reason to stick with him through the ban. Last year, Smith was operating as one of the Ravens’ best players and was Pro Football Focus’ No. 12 corner coming into the ill-fated game.
The Ravens will be without Smith for the first four games of the season against the Bills, Bengals, Broncos, and Steelers. He’ll be eligible to return in Week 5 against the Browns.
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