Report: D’Joun Smith Waived Due to a ‘Lack of Professionalism’
According to WTHR’s Bob Kravitz, former Indianapolis Colts cornerback D’Joun Smith was released on Friday because of a ‘lack of professionalism’ among all other things:
As a 3rd round pick of the Colts in last year’s NFL Draft, it does seem strange that the Colts would give up on Smith so easily–even with all the injuries currently at the cornerback position.
Smith did struggle in last year’s training camp with the Colts at times, but he was also only a rookie.
Once upon a time, ex-Panthers shutdown cornerback Josh Norman also struggled early on in his NFL career. Not that Smith is necessarily Norman, but the point being that it can take a little time for young cornerbacks to develop, as it’s one of the toughest positions to play in the league.
Teams don’t typically give up on early round draft selections so soon, especially ones that have been limited by injury and not necessarily for lack of ability.
Specifically, Smith suffered a knee injury in last year’s preseason, which limited him to just 4 games in the regular season before succumbing to season-ending injured reserve due to lingering side-effects.
However, the knee injury continued to hinder Smith, as he only was able to play in Week 2 of this year’s preseason, having also suffered a high ankle sprain.
The Colts have held onto other underwhelming draft picks a lot longer such as Bjoern Werner: 2013 1st round draft pick (3 seasons), Khaled Holmes: 2013 4th round draft pick (3 seasons), and one could even argue Hugh Thornton: 2013 3rd round draft pick (4 seasons)–boy was that 2014 NFL Draft Class brutal.
So why give up on Smith so soon?
He’s clearly a player that the Colts coaching staff coveted not too long ago:
It would make sense if it was a lack of professionalism.
If a player is hurt, a coaching staff and front office will respect the player’s health and well-being to a point, but at the same time, that player is expected to do everything in his power to continue to be an exemplary teammate, as well as attend all of the necessary rehabilitation and trainers’ tables for full recovery.
If Smith failed to perform either one of those things, then the Colts may have lost patience and rightfully so–especially with the dire need for their cornerback backups to actually play.