When the Buccaneers signed former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith earlier this offseason they were hoping he could regain the form that once made him a Pro Bowler. Smith was hoping to do the same, but he has since realized that a series of knee injuries will prohibit such a comeback and thus announced his retirement from the game on Wednesday. “I've been blessed to play the game that I love at the highest level for the past six years,'' Smith said in a statement released by the Bucs. “I will always cherish my time with the New York Giants and our Super Bowl victory in 2007. “I also want to thank the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers organizations for the opportunities they gave me. This was not an easy decision, but it's the right decision for me at this time.” Smith had his best season in 2009, earning a Pro Bowl selection, and setting a Giants single-season record with 107 receptions, the most in the NFC and the second-most in the NFL behind Wes Welker (123). His 1,220 receiving yards were the second-most in Giants history and ranked eighth in the NFL that year. Smith also led the Giants in receptions in 2008 with 57. Smith left the Giants for Philadelphia in 2011 and spent time with the Rams in 2012 before joining the Bucs. During the past three seasons, Smith has battled knee injuries that limited him to playing in only 27 of 48 games. A native of Woodland Hills, Cal., Smith played at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, earning 2002 Parade All-America honors, and then went on to play his college ball at Southern Cal. Smith started 27 of the 46 games he played for the Trojans, finishing his career with 190 receptions for 3,019 yards and 22 touchdowns, earning first-team All-American honors in 2006, along with first-team All-Pac 10 honors.