The Carolina Panthers linebacker is prepping for life following the gridiron.
It sounds a bit cliché, but it life after football comes quickly. That’s why Carolina Panthers linebacker Andre Smith is taking advantage of other opportunities in the offseason.
As noted in an article from Panthers.com, Smith is going to be part of an internship with StubHub over the next three weeks. While there, he will see the technology, business management, and marketing divisions of the company.
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This is a really smart idea on the part of Smith. Particularly when you look at all of the players that have retired recently, it’s important that he thinks about life after football. Just look at all of the great players that have retired early over the past year or so. Rob Gronkowski, Andrew Luck, and Smith’s teammate Luke Kuechly all come to mind. As players learn how to treat their bodies better, and get stronger, football will become a more physical game. If an injury forced Smith to retire early, now he has a backup plan.
Hopefully, he has a long career ahead of him. Coming from the University of North Carolina, and being drafted as a seventh-round pick, the odds are already stacked against him. He has certainly made an impact with the minimal playing time he’s had. Hopefully, he can continue with the positive momentum he accrued last season
Perhaps even more importantly, he recognizes that it’s important to conserve the money from his playing days.
"“I’m not going to be all the statistics that people talk about with former players, that they’re losing money, don’t have anything after the league,” Smith said. “That’s not going to be ‘Dre.”"
It’s great to hear Andre Smith succeeding in something off-the-field as well. Hopefully, more players will take his lead. Smith has two things going for him and I hope he succeeds at both.
It will be interesting to see if internships during the off-season are something that players do more frequently. Especially with the early retirements we have seen over the past year or so, players are starting to recognize that there is life after football, and that their career might end earlier than expected. It’s good to see a player like Smith take the initiative.