In a post on the Baltimore Sun’s Ravens Insider blog, Edward Lee speculated about the possibility of Carolina Panther WR Steve Smith becoming a Raven. It is an odd time to consider the possibility of Smith becoming a Raven, but an NFL writer has to write about something during the lock-out.
It is also hard to know whether or not Smith would make financial sense for the Ravens. He is owed $15 million over the final 2 years of his deal, which is a hefty price tag for an aging receiver on a team with other aging receivers. There is the possibility that the NFL will have another uncapped year in 2011, which could make the finances of acquiring Smith more workable. The question remains as to whether or not Smith would add much to the Ravens.
Smith has been a dynamic talent for years. His speed and play-making ability have made him one of the NFL’s premier receivers despite his smaller stature. Smith would add a dimension that hte Ravens do not currently have among their receivers, that is the ability to both stretch the field and to make plays on underneath routes, turning short completions into big plays. The problem is that Smith’s numbers have dropped off significantly in the last two seasons. That can be pinned on a poor offense in Carolina, but does Smith figure to see a significant increase in balls were he to join a crowded group of receivers in Baltimore?
The other aspect that needs to be considered is how Smith’s personality and at times cantankerous attitude would fit with the Ravens. No one has ever questioned Smith’s competitiveness, but he has grown frustrated with the Panthers, to the point were he cleaned out his locker at the end of last season, and he got into a fight with teammate Ken Lucas in 2008. The two quickly moved on and made amends, but you have to wonder if another volatile, former #1 receiver would hurt Joe Flacco’s ability to take greater control of the Ravens offense. We saw how difficult it was in 2010 to mesh the personalities of Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and TJ Housmanzadeh. The Ravens have also added two you receivers who they hope become the go-to targets for Flacco in the years to come.
I believe that Smith has something left in his tank, but I am not conviced that what he could potentially add to the Ravens would outweigh what he could cost them. It may be a waste of time to speculate about a deal that is not likely to happen, but what on your thoughts on adding Steve Smith?