Earlier this afternoon the Indianapolis Colts waived-injured cornerback D’Joun Smith, their third round pick last year. He played in just four games for the team due to injuries, and he once again was rehabbing from an injury this preseason. The Colts didn’t really have any choice but to part with Smith because of the injuries, so we thought nothing more of it.
To his credit, WTHR’s Bob Kravitz decided to dig a little further into the decision, as a third round pick getting cut just one year later isn’t too common - even though Smith has been injured, the Colts really liked him when they drafted him. So Kravitz asked around, and he found an answer: he tweeted that he was told Smith was cut “due to a lack of professionalism rather than injuries or a lack of ability.”
A little bit later, he appeared on 1070 the Fan with JMV and explained it a little bit more (though he didn’t offer specific details). “It seemed odd to me that they’d give up on their third round draft choice from just one year ago so quickly,” Kravitz said. “Usually [if] you draft a guy that high – look, Bjoern Werner was here how many years? Three? Four? You usually stick with your higher draftees, and it seemed odd to me. So I looked around, called around, and what I got is that it was like a third strike. What that entailed specifically, I do not know. Was he late for practices? Was he missing rehabs? What it was, I do not know, and nobody would be specific with me. I was just told that he did not act the part of a professional football player and they said, ‘see ya!’”
Later on in the conversation, Kravitz added that, “he’s got some growing up to do, and again, it’s just unusual for a team to give up on a third round draft choice that quickly, and they felt like he didn’t help their culture and that he wasn’t helping them [on the field] because he’s always injured.”
So we don’t have too many details on what actually happened with D’Joun Smith that resulted in him being cut, but it sounds like it was more than just injuries that led to the decision. Just from an injury standpoint, however, it made sense: Smith was hurt for most of last season, was hurt for this year’s offseason program, and was hurt in training camp and preseason this year. With other injuries at cornerback (and other spots), the Colts simply couldn’t afford to keep Smith on the roster when he wasn’t healthy. So that much made sense, but it sounds like there was even more that went into it.