Steve Smith, the 13-year veteran who played his entire career in Carolina with the Panthers has signed a three-year deal worth $11.5 million with a $3.5 million dollar signing bonus.
Smith had multiple suitors for his talents this offseason, but never left Ravens headquarters and the team never wanted him to leave. He had a planned meeting with the New England Patriots set for Monday, but of course, that won’t happen now.
“I really felt like after sitting here that this is the place that I felt best would fit me and they convinced me that I would fit in here very well.”
He was revitalized with Cam Newton at quarterback, catching 73 passes for 1,174 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. He hauled in seven touchdowns in 2011 and the five-time Pro Bowler has caught at least 70 passes in seven of his 13 years in the NFL.
Smith brings intensity and tenacity to a Ravens team that quite honestly lacked it last season.
Even at 34 (he’ll be 35 in May) he’s looking to step right in to the mix, help receivers like Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown with their development and establish a rapport with Joe Flacco as the Ravens hope he can fill the void left behind from former receivers Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.
With Smith and Brown likely to be starting wide outs, Smith will seemingly fit into new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak‘s offensive game plan, operating out of the slot and finding soft spots in zone coverage. Make no mistake though, Smith will look to make big plays down field and make this offense even more dynamic.
Ozzie Newsome is thrilled to have Smith’s services on the field beginning this season telling BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink how excited he is about his skill set and the toughness he brings.
“We’ve added one of the top competitors in the NFL to the Ravens,” Newsome said. “Steve is a proven player who has performed his best in big games and on the biggest stages like the playoffs and Super Bowl. He adds toughness to our offense, big-play ability and leadership to our team.”