Jonnu Smith had longer gains and more dramatic moments.
When people look back on his time with the Tennessee Titans, though, it is his 12-yard touchdown catch in the 2019 divisional playoff victory over the Baltimore Ravens that will rank as his most memorable. Mostly because people won’t let him forget it.
“It definitely got a lot of attention,” he said back in January. “It was a cool catch. A lot of people talked about it.
“I don’t know how many times I have seen the play – over a million times. It’s definitely something that is brought up a lot.”
It happened with 3:36 to play in the first quarter, started the scoring and sent the Titans on their way to a 28-12 triumph and an appearance in the AFC Championship at Kansas City. It also showcased just how athletic the 6-foot-3, 248-pound tight end is.
On third-and-goal, Smith ran an out-and-up against Brandon Carr but did not exactly beat the veteran safety. Regardless, quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw the ball his way, and Smith used both hands to create a little space between the two and then just one – the left – to juggle the ball twice before he gathered it in as he fell to the ground.
A lengthy video review determined that Smith had control before he went out of bounds and gave him a moment that has a permanent place in his highlight reel, not to mention a semi-regular spot his daily existence.
Now, it is also part of his past. Smith became one of the first players to agree to contract terms during the NFL’s current legal tampering period, which precedes the free agent signing period that begins Wednesday. He will join the New England Patriots on a four-year, $50 million deal.
In four seasons with Tennessee, Smith scored 17 touchdowns in regular-season games (16 receiving, one rushing). He added one in the postseason, and that is the one people will remember when they think about his time with the Titans.