I am sensing a trend for the Baltimore Ravens’ free agency recently: Keep one player, and lose another.
McClain signed with the New York Giants Thursday night, which almost guaranteed the Ravens were going to sign a free agent of their own, according to the short trend that has appeared during free agency.
And looking back, it did guarantee it. Smith is coming back to the Ravens after a great season on a four-year, $16.1 million deal with him making $6.1 million next season on Friday.
In a comeback season from injury (which occurred with the Jacksonville Jaguars), Smith racked up a career high in combined tackles (123), assisted tackles (66), passes defended (18), and interceptions (3) including his first career interception returned for a touchdown.
It’s hard to say Smith did not do great for the Ravens in his first season. And as I said before, he has deserved to come back to Baltimore, and I look forward to him doing great things this next season.
Smith took over Ray Lewis’ absent middle linebacker spot, and I have heard nothing to say he is not a good leader. Not only on the field, but I hope to see him push the defense forward with locker room leadership and example.
But even with the re-signing of Smith, the Ravens lost linebacker McClain. Smith, who has 10 years of NFL experience, may be playing defense with a bunch of young guns on the Ravens.
I do like the younger face of the defense that seems to be coming (could all still be up in the air though), but I wanted to see McClain stay to bring up the younger players despite his less than stellar season.
Ozzie Newsome has been messing with my mind since free agency started, so this does not surprise me too much. He’s had to make decisions, and Smith clearly was the top priority, and I do not expect these tough decisions to end.
As of right now, these are the remaining free agents for the Ravens:
OT Michael Oher
S James Ihedigbo - probably going to Detroit
TE Ed Dickson
FB Vonta Leach
TE Dallas Clark
WR Tandon Doss
One name has silently left this list — special teamer and reserve safety Jeromy Miles. The Ravens have re-signed Miles to a one-year deal. It will depend on the safety issue with Ihedigbo and Matt Elam as to how much playing time he gets.
With eight names remaining, there are still a few key players that I certainly am waiting to see what happens.
I believe only one tight end – either Dickson or Clark – will be staying in Baltimore. Dennis Pitta will certainly be the number one TE, and I suspect Dickson will remain while Clark moves on.
Clark was signed to a one-year deal last season, and even though he had more yards than Dickson, I do not think it will matter enough for the Ravens to give him another deal.
Clearly, I have been wrong about this more than once during free agency already (but I have been right also, do not forget). With Pitta signed, the TE position is not a priority, so other teams will have a good chance at signing either Dickson or Clark.
For a team who needs a one-year deal, they may go with the veteran in Clark rather than the younger guy in Dickson.
Running back Scott, unless the Ravens cannot find another RB to act as a backup, I do not believe the Ravens will re-sign him. Though he does not play often, I do not believe he has stepped up when given the chance to remain as a Raven.
No matter what happens, the Ravens’ free agent list will eventually disappear into nothing, whether through re-signings, or signing with other teams.
All the news has been with the Ravens’ free agents, but I almost happy to continue the report that my ESPN app told me when I woke up. New free agent and former Carolina Panthers’ wide receiver Steve Smith has caught the Ravens’ attention.
The Ravens have been in search of a wide receiver, and Smith could be the first non-Raven free agent signing this year.
The report said after being released Thursday, the Ravens were quick to contact Smith who plans to attend a meeting with the Ravens today, Friday the 14th.
Further reports from the Ravens said that there has been mutual interest from Smith in the past, and I hope he still has that interest.
Hopefully this is a sign of a busier free agency period for the Ravens. Keep your eyes peeled, I can sense the free agent waters heating up in Baltimore.