Hey, why not? With running back uncertainties revolving around Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, maybe Emmitt Smith can pick up the running game. He still looks good, and, his name is Smith! It’s a Ravens thing to sign people named Smith … did it twice yesterday for example!
Yes, the Baltimore Ravens had a back-to-back Smith day by first re-signing Daryl Smith and then adding former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith later in the afternoon. Add these two Smiths to a team with cornerback Jimmy Smith and wide receiver Torrey Smith and, well, there are Smiths all over the place!
I’ll say this from a writer’s point of view – Smith is certainly easier to remember how to spell than Kelechi Osemele, Haloti Ngata or James Ihedigbo (who looks to be headed to Detroit where I won’t need to remember him anymore).
So, four Smiths on one team, so far. Yes, it is the most common name, but, with a current total of 41 Smiths in the NFL, the Ravens have more than their fair share. There have been a total of 318 in NFL history … but who’s counting?
Seriously, Friday was a good day for the Baltimore Ravens. Add two Smiths and subtract one Michael Oher.
The Ravens and fans have to be thrilled to have secured Daryl Smith for four years at $16.1 million. He was the team leader with 123 tackles in 2013 while also registering five sacks and three fumble recoveries. Smith is the heart at the center of the defense, and presumably will be joined on the inside most often by last year’s second-round pick Arthur Brown.
Just a week ago it was presumed that the Ravens would be unable to seriously hope to re-sign both Eugene Monroe and Daryl Smith, let alone also Jacoby Jones. But all three were secured this week, adding to the good offseason that also saw Dennis Pitta and Terrell Suggs retained earlier.
And then yesterday, hours after Daryl Smith was re-signed, an agreement was enthusiastically reached with Steve Smith for $11 million over three years. After 13 seasons in Carolina as one of the best and toughest receivers in the game, he comes to the Ravens as the answer to what both Harbaugh and Newsome together agreed was the type of end necessary to bolster the offense. The need was for a hardened slot receiver who can make the tough third down catches in traffic, etc. In Smith, they have found their guy.
The current status of the Baltimore Ravens is that the receiving corps is pretty much defined. This helps to narrow the focus upon what yet remains to be addressed through continued free agency or the draft.
One area to now be looked at is right tackle, as Michael Oher signed with the Tennessee Titans on a four-year deal for $20 million. No, that is not a misprint. After five years with the Ravens, he never rose to the level of expectation he had upon arrival as the first-round choice in 2009. Perhaps he can revitalize his career in his home state.
It is interesting to see the enthusiasm for the Baltimore Ravens and respect for the culture of the organization that is expressed by these players being signed. It is more than simply that the Ravens are recent Super Bowl champions. And this is a great “foot up” for this franchise. Maybe everyone out there in the NFL in each city is feeling as good about their signings this week as are the Ravens and fans, but I really doubt it.