Neil Smith (American football)

Neil Smith
No. 90, 91
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1966-04-10) April 10, 1966
New Orleans, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 270 lb (122 kg)
Career information
High school: McDonogh 35
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
College: Nebraska
NFL Draft: 1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 582
Sacks: 104.5
Interceptions: 4
Player stats at

Neil Smith (born April 10, 1966) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1988 to 1996, the Denver Broncos from 1997 to 1999, and the San Diego Chargers in 2000. Before his NFL career, he played for the University of Nebraska where he was All-American in 1987. He also co-owned an Arena Football team, the Kansas City Command.

Early years

Born in New Orleans, Smith graduated from McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School in the city.[1]

Professional career

The Chiefs, who had the third pick, made it known to everyone before the 1988 NFL Draft that they intended to take Smith. The Detroit Lions, picking second, threatened to pick Smith and the Chiefs were forced to move up one slot to make sure that Smith would be their pick. Incidentally, one of the draft picks the Chiefs surrendered in order to move up turned out to be star linebacker Chris Spielman. Smith's pre-draft measurables were head-turning. He was 6'4½", weighed 260 pounds, had a 7-foot-1½-inch arm span,[2] and ran a 4.55 forty-yard dash.[3]

Interception Stats Defense Stats
1988Kansas City Chiefs1300100002.553
1989Kansas City Chiefs1500012316.567
1990Kansas City Chiefs1600041009.568
1991Kansas City Chiefs16000321008.065
1992Kansas City Chiefs161221220014.577
1993Kansas City Chiefs161304300'15.0'55
1994Kansas City Chiefs141410516011.542
1995Kansas City Chiefs16000410012.042
1996Kansas City Chiefs1600010006.034
1997Denver Broncos1400010008.529
1998Denver Broncos1412010004.020
1999Denver Broncos1500000006.525
2000San Diego Chargers000000000.05

Neil Smith at


One of the top defensive linemen of his era, Smith made the Pro Bowl 6 times during his career (1991 to 1995 and 1997), and led the NFL with 15 sacks in the 1993 season. With the Broncos, Smith won 2 NFL championship rings for Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. In the 1998 Divisional Playoffs against the Miami Dolphins, Smith cemented the 38-3 Broncos victory with a 79-yard fumble return for a touchdown, and in Super Bowl XXXII, he recorded a key fumble recovery that set up a Broncos field goal.

Smith finished his 13 NFL seasons with 105 sacks, 30 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, 19 return yards, and 1 touchdown. He also intercepted 4 passes, returning them for 68 yards and a touchdown. He is the former co-owner of the Kansas City Brigade of the Arena Football League.

On October 22, 2006, Smith was inducted to the Chiefs's Hall of Fame.


Smith's trademark sack celebration, which consisted of him pantomiming swinging a baseball bat, was invented in tribute to another Kansas City sports hero, Hall Of Famer George Brett.[4] Smith might also be notable for investing, along with fellow NFL player Ricky Siglar, $700,000 in Miracle Cars.[5]

There was a rule created in his name. The "Neil Smith" rule, enacted in 1998, prevents a defensive lineman from flinching to induce a false start penalty on the offense.

Neil Smith was a Co-Owner of the Kansas City Brigade, a team in the Arena Football League from 2006 until 2008.

Smith appeared as a panelist on the Nickelodeon game show Figure it Out. He asked the decidedly nerdy contestant, Matthew, who had built a race winning cardboard boat, if his talent had anything to do with computers.[6]

The Kansas City Command retired #90 in his honor.


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