Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sports

Ex-Bills great DE Smith 'in pain every day'

BATAVIA, N.Y. — Wearing a tight orange golf shirt that shows off his muscular physique, Bruce Smith is still capable of casting an intimidating presence as he did while setting the NFL career record for sacks.

Looks, however, can be deceiving, the Bills Hall of Fame defensive end acknowledged.

"I look good, but I'm in pain every day," Smith, 52, said at former teammate Jim Kelly's charity golf tournament outside of Buffalo on Monday. "There's not a day that I'm not in pain: multiple joints and things that I experience on a daily basis. It can be very frustrating sometimes."

Then there's his memory.

"You'd probably have to ask my wife about that," Smith said when asked if he was experiencing head injury-related symptoms about 13 years after he retired. "I forget a lot of things sometimes."

At a time when NFL safety concerns are attracting headlines, it's difficult for Smith to ignore the toll playing 299 games — including playoffs — and registering 200 sacks took on his 6-foot-4, 262-pound body.

Yet, if he could go back, Smith would do it all over again.

"While I did not know the severity of what continuous head traumas would do to an individual and the mind and so forth and so on, I'm not going to sit here and complain," Smith said. "I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell you it hurts on a daily basis. But I'm very thankful."

BUCS SIGN AGUAYO: The Bucs have signed all seven of their 2016 draft picks, wrapping up the class as former FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo, the second of their second-round picks, signed his rookie contract. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but as the No. 59 overall pick, Aguayo is slotted to make $4.05 million over four years, including a $1.15 million signing bonus. Aguayo, the last pick to sign, attended all of the team's voluntary workouts this offseason.

OBITUARY: Browns executive Bryan Wiedmeier, who spent 35 years in the NFL, died after a four-year battle with brain cancer. He was 57.

TALIB ABSENT: Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said cornerback Aqib Talib should return today to team headquarters in Englewood, Colo., where team doctors can evaluate the gunshot wound in his right leg.

49ERS: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was cleared for individual work and took onfield reps for the first time since having multiple offseason surgeries.

SAINTS: Safety Roman Harper, 33, agreed to a one-year deal with the club where he spent his first eight seasons.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

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