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Cleveland Browns release defensive end Chris Smith, whose girlfriend was killed earlier this season

Chris Smith, of the Cleveland Browns.
Posted at 11:59 AM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 15:21:01-05

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns have released defensive end Chris Smith, adding another blow to an already depleted defensive roster, according to the Browns.

In a news release, the Browns said they released Smith to make room for newly-signed defensive tackle Justin Zimmer, who was moved to the active roster from the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad.

Smith, 27, was inactive for Sunday’s 20-13 loss against the Steelers. He played in nine games this season and had a tackle and a pass defense.

Smith has had a difficult season off the field following the death of his girlfriend, Petara Cordero, in September. She was a passenger inside a Lamborghini when another vehicle struck her as she stood in the north shoulder of I-90 westbound. Shortly before the tragic crash, Smith and Cordero celebrated the birth of their daughter, Haven Harris Smith.

Smith signed to the Browns as an unrestricted free agent on March 15, 2018. Last season, he played in all 16 games with two starts as defensive end. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

His release adds another blow to a depleted roster. In November, the league upheld Myles Garrett’s indefinite suspension after he wrestled with Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph on the ground and then struck him in the head with his own helmet.

RELATED: Girlfriend of Browns defensive end Chris Smith killed in crash on I-90

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