Strangest ’16 Offseason Stories: #3

With only three Strange storylines left, we remember a very sad day in NOLA.

3) The Murder of Will Smith

Along with all the tomfoolery around the league each and every offseason, it’s pretty much an unfortunate guarantee that every offseason will have at least one current or former NFL player that passes away due to some random or tragic circumstance. Unfortunately, with two members of the NFL family the victim of gun-related violence, it seems that this trend has become far too prominent in modern day society. Before former New York Jet Joe McKnight was murdered in a road rage incident at the tail-end of last season, it was beloved former New Orleans Saint defensive end Will Smith that was killed in New Orleans last offseason while leaving a popular food festival in the middle of the city. While driving away from the festivities with his wife and several friends, Smith lightly bumped the car in front of him in traffic and sped off. The car then followed him for several blocks in a high speed chase until there was a more significant collision (either intentionally or not) created by the driver of the other vehicle, Cardell Hayes. After the passengers in each car confronted each other in a heated exchange, Smith walked back to his own vehicle.  Hayes, who was brandishing a firearm, said that he believed Smith was reaching for his own weapon in his car when he gunned down the former lineman. The end result was Smith was murdered and his wife was sprayed with a few bullets striking her leg as well. The scene was obviously tragic and resulted in the death of a former star and the lifelong incarceration of another man.