NEW YORK – DeVonta Smith knows his third year in the NFL will pose some new challenges. For one, the Philadelphia Eagles have a target on their backs after winning the NFC last season, though they were not able to win it all.
However, while Smith’s mindset remains focused on football this season, he will also need to turn his attention to something off the field: fatherhood.
“I wish we can just fast-forward to it,” Smith told Fox News Digital, smiling from ear to ear as he thought about the baby girl his girlfriend, Mya, and him are expecting. “I’m excited for it. Just really looking forward to being a dad.”
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The couple made their pregnancy announcement this past month.
“To our unborn you were made with so much love,” they wrote on Instagram. “We’re so thankful God blessed us to be your parents. You have so much love for you already it’s indescribable. We know the journey will not be easy but it’ll be an amazing story to tell. Mommie and DaDa cannot wait to meet you. See you soon baby girl.”
An outpouring of love flooded the comments, including some from Smith’s Eagles teammates.
“Unc can’t wait to meet you and yes im making myself the uncle,” Smith’s partner in crime at wide receiver, A.J. Brown, wrote.
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Cornerback Darius Slay added, “Congrats… I’m trying to be the God daddy!!”
While Smith’s teammates might be clowning around, they are also helping him prepare for what goes into being a professional football-playing father. There is no longer one mind entirely focused on the gridiron, and Smith said he is already learning what needs to be done once he takes his helmet and pads off no matter the outcome on Sundays.
“I think it was Slay and BG [Brandon Graham] telling me about no matter what goes on at work or whatever goes on Sunday on the field, when you go home, your kids don’t care about none of that,” he explained. “They don’t care about if you won or lost, or if you had a good game or bad game. You come home and it just goes out the window.
“That kinda set in for me like, ‘OK, I’m really about to have a family.’ Now you have to leave work at work and come home. You can’t let the frustration come out.”
Every NFL player with children will agree with Smith’s guidance into fatherhood, as he wants to be “available” for his family which means turning off that game-mode switch to be the father he wants to be.
However, that does not mean Smith is taking his foot off the gas when he steps between those lines. After totaling 1,196 yards on 95 receptions with seven touchdowns last season – all better numbers than his rookie year in 2021 – the “Slim Reaper” wants to continue his upward trajectory that has already put him in the conversation of one of the best wide receivers in the game today.
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He saw Brown and his quarterback, Jalen Hurts, get paid after their third year in the league, and figures more production could result in a contract of his own from GM Howie Roseman.
Of course, every player wants that big pay day, which proves their value in the league, but a new contract for Smith means providing more for his family.
Though a name has not been picked yet, and the baby girl’s room may not be ready, Smith already has that extra motivation that comes with fatherhood. There is more to play for now.
“I’m playing for the love of the game to take care of my family,” he said. “Just going out there and being me.”
Smith spoke to Fox News Digital on behalf of VRST. He is aiming to bring a different style to the stadium week in and week out, but when he is not on the field, he is trying to stay comfortable while working out.
“Being able to have stuff to work out, being at home to lounge in and casual dressing if I want to go out to dinner or something like that,” Smith said. “Just being able to switch it.
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“The Icon Tee, the material on it is very smooth. Breathable, something that’s not too hot when you start sweating. It’s very good for you. The All In Shorts, the Limitless jogger, and then this new piece coming out, the Pinnacle Fleece. It’s going to be real good.”