Ravens Score Big Time with Signing of Steve Smith

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When Ozzie Newsome said he wanted to add weapons for Joe Flacco and the Ravens this offseason, he meant it.

Since then, the Oz has struck several key deals to help the Ravens stay competitive in 2014. Dennis Pitta, Daryl Smith, and Eugene Monroe all received new cap friendly contracts this season, and the front office even went out and got the best receiver in Carolina Panthers history in Steve Smith.

Think of Steve Smith as a shorter version of Anquan Boldin– they both share the same aggressive attitude. Smith is 5’ 9″ and 185lbs, but don’t let the small frame fool you; he’s known as one of the most physical wide receivers in the game, and he has a knack for winning tough catches while getting under a defender’s skin.

He has exactly the attitude the Ravens need for an offense that is short of smash-mouth style football players.

This will be Smith’s 14th season in the league, so there is no question he is a regressing player. Nobody expects Smith to have a 1000 yard season, but he should be a good role player for an offense that vitally needs someone who can move the chains.

His physical play style fits the Ravens’ mentality well, and hopefully he can be a Boldin/Pitta like safety blanket for Flacco, especially on third down. Smith’s ability to catch tight one-on-one catches will be pivotal to the team’s success this season.

In 182 games, Smith has 12,197 receiving yards, 16,607 all-purpose yards, and 75 total TD’s (67 receiving TD’s on 836 catches).  If those numbers aren’t impressive enough, the Utah product is a two-time All-Pro (2001, and 2005), five-time Pro Bowl selection (2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2011), and has 43 games played with at least 100+ yards receiving. He even had a whopping 1,563 yards receiving in 2005.

John Harbaugh believes that Smith is definitely a special player. “Steve is a Ravens-style football player,” he said. “He always has been, in our eyes; it’s just that he’s been playing for another team.”

Remarks like these coming from a head coach are high praise. Clearly John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome both have liked Smith for a long time; Carolina cutting Smith allowed the Ravens to pick him up without giving away compensatory draft picks as well, which is just another bonus. The receiver virtually fell right into their laps.

Steve Smith admits he will still miss Carolina, and the fans that have cheered for him his whole career. The receiver even released a ¾ page ad in a Charlotte newspaper saying thank you and goodbye to his hometown. Smith will be missed greatly in the community that he is very active in, especially since he holds 30 Carolina Panthers franchise records.

Although this is goodbye to Charlotte, Smith understands the business aspect of the NFL, and has decided to make the best of a bad situation by signing on to a team that he feels can earn him his first Super Bowl win of his career. “I just love everything that it is to be a Baltimore Raven… so I’m looking forward to experiencing it all,” Smith said.

Smith is clearly excited to be Raven despite leaving Carolina. Smith also plans on returning to Carolina after he retires from the NFL, which will probably be when his contract expires in three years. Hopefully, the mutual interest between Smith and Baltimore will lead to a bright future in the Purple City.

                                            

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