West Rowan High School, Chris Smith's alma mater, tweeted that he died Monday aged 31.
Smith's death is unknown.
Smith, from Salisbury, North Carolina, was picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
In 72 games with Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Houston, the DL recorded 80 tackles and 11 sacks. Smith joined the XFL's Seattle Sea Dragons after a 2022 NFL hiatus.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Browns DE Chris Smith," the Browns announced Tuesday. Chris was one of our organization's friendliest coworkers and friends. We pray for his family."
Derek Carr, David Njoku, and Drew Rosenhaus mourned Smith's death on Twitter.