NFL Network’s Steve Smith Talks Down On Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy Following Pregame Confrontation


Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos and commentator Steve Smith of the NFL Network are not friends.

Five-time Pro Bowler Smith said that Jeudy and he got into a fight before the game because of a remark the former wide receiver made about the Broncos player on his podcast.

“On my podcast, I talked about guys that maybe have not showed up in a way,” Smith said on NFL Network before the Broncos and Chiefs kicked off Thursday night. “The word that I’ve used to describe him in the past was a J.A.G. — just a guy. When I saw him, he’s playing well.”

“I wanted to say to him face to face, ‘hey, I know I’ve said some things in the past. I probably shouldn’t have and I’m sorry.’ That’s what I wanted to say to him. His response was, ‘(racial slur), I don’t mess with you.’ And it was a curse word. So I was like, ‘all right.’ And then he repeated it.”

Smith continued by making a few less-than-subtle barbs.

“I’m sorry that I said you were a J.A.G., just a guy. Who’s an average wide receiver who they used a first-round pick on that isn’t doing anything,” Smith said. “I hope today that you actually show up in a way that you haven’t showed up in the last couple years since they drafted you. So if you ever have a problem with Agent 89, I’m sorry, for saying that you’re an average wide receiver that they will eventually move on (from).”

Although Jeudy could be seen on camera moving in front of Smith’s live feed, the retired wide receiver chose to act dignifiedly.

“When I used to play, I would engage and I love that. But right now, I’m 44 years old. I don’t need to have this drama and I also don’t need to have any problems on the sideline for me doing something that will jeopardize not just me but him,” Smith continued.

“One of the biggest problems we have in the media, especially as a young Black man, sometimes is Black-on-Black crime. I’m not gonna participate in that. I’m not gonna participate where the national media can see two African American men acting like we don’t got no sense. He didn’t like what I said and that’s fine. I wanted to talk to him. He didn’t like it, so we move on.”

Smith played in five Pro Bowls and twice made the first team All-Pro during his 16 seasons in the NFL. In 2005, he won Comeback Player of the Year and led the NFL in receiving yards. In 219 career games, the wide receiver for the former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens finished with 1,031 catches, 14,731 receiving yards, and 81 touchdowns.

In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Broncos selected Jeudy with the 15th overall pick. In 45 career games, he has 174 receptions for 2,503 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. He has never been selected to an All-Pro or Pro Bowl team.