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5 Things to Know About New Vikings CB Tye Smith


EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Thursday announced the signing of veteran cornerback Tye Smith.

The move adds experience and depth to Minnesota's secondary and special teams.

Smith has appeared in 40 regular-season games (four with Seattle and 36 with Tennessee) since 2015. He has totaled 62 tackles on defense, an interception, two passes defended and two forced fumbles. Smith played in six postseason games with Tennessee, including starts in two games that followed the 2017 season.

Here are five things to know about the newest Vikings cornerback.

1. 'Tye-breaker'

Smith's lone touchdown so far in the NFL helped the Titans break a 17-all tie with the Colts on Dec. 1, 2019.

He scooped a field goal that was blocked by Dane Cruikshank and returned the ball 63 yards for a score in the fourth quarter of an eventual 31-17 victory.

A week later, Smith forced a Raiders fumble that was returned 47 yards for a touchdown by Jayon Brown in the fourth quarter of a 42-21 win.

View photos of new Vikings CB Tye Smith who signed with the team.

2. He's resilient

Those moments of glory served as nice rewards for the grit he showed in coming back from an injury suffered during the 2018 Titans training camp that sidelined him for the entire season.

Smith has appeared in 21 regular-season games and made six starts since coming back from the injury.

Originally a fifth-round pick (170th overall) by the Seahawks in 2015, Smith also overcame playing sparingly as a rookie and being cut before his second season. He spent time on the Seattle and Washington practice squads before Tennessee signed him to a futures contract in January 2017.

3. Believes in 'Simple Greatness'

Smith established his own website,, in reference to the phrase "Simple Greatness" that he has implemented as a source of inspiration.

He explained in his Titans bio that "Simple Greatness" to him "can't be measured. It means heart, dedication. It's all the intangibles that we as a society overlook because we look so much at things we can measure."

In the springs of 2018 and 2019, Smith hosted free "Simple Greatness" football camps in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.

4. Big family & involved in community

Smith, the second-oldest of eight siblings, has used his free time to help with other community events that included a bowling fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity in 2018. He's helped on-site during the construction of multiple Habitat for Humanity homes.

Other ventures include a toy drive for Boys & Girls Clubs and hosting free trips for youth to a trampoline park in his hometown.

5. Towson tackler

After playing cornerback, receiver and returning kicks at Wakefield (N.C.) High School, Smith made the most of his scholarship offer to Towson University in Maryland.

He appeared in 50 games and made 42 starts at corner, recording 312 tackles for the fifth-highest career tally in school history. Smith also recorded five touchdowns (one returned for a touchdown), 28 passes defended, 4.0 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Smith progressed from Third-Team All-CAA honors as a sophomore to Second-Team All-CAA as a junior before making First-Team All-CAA as a senior.