The St. Louis Rams will, for the second time in three years, end the season without Jason Smith, the number two pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. More worrisome still, the problem is again a concussion—the 25-year-old has been out since Week 7, when he suffered his third NFL concussion against the Dallas Cowboys. Almost exactly three years ago Smith’s career suffered its first setback, when a concussion ended his rookie season in 2009.
At this point the question isn’t just whether he’s the protection the Rams expected for their future franchise quarterback when they drafted Smith second overall—the question is whether he’ll be able to make an impact in the NFL at all, with concussions increasingly treated for the serious head injuries they are. If Smith develops a history of concussion problems his career could be over much sooner than anyone anticipated.
Whatever happens, health-wise, he might have played his last game with the Rams. Turf Show Times talks about his 2012 salary, which, in the context of the new collective bargaining agreement, is suddenly quite a bit more exorbitant than it was when the contract was signed.