Baltimore Sun Earlier this offseason, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh came to the same conclusion while mulling what type of wide receiver the team needed to add to help the offense get back on track. At the time, they had no way of knowing that Steve Smith would eventually become available. The Ravens have now agreed to terms on a contract with the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, according to league sources. After Smith’s contentious parting with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday after 13 NFL seasons, the Ravens pounced, signing the five-time Pro Bowl selection today to bolster their receiving corps. The Ravens closed the deal after welcoming Smith to the team facility, where he met with general manager Ozzie Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. The terms of the deal aren’t presently known but the addition of Smith provides another accomplished target for quarterback Joe Flacco, and injects toughness and attitude into an offense needing both. In 13 NFL seasons, Smith has caught 836 passes for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns. He will turn 35 in May and he’s coming off a season in which his catch total (64), yardage (745) and yards per catch (11.6) numbers sagged. But the Ravens, looking for a receiver who can make tough catches, work out of the slot and be a threat on third down, felt that the long-time Panther was the best option on the free agent market.
Steve Smith is a huge pickup for the Baltimore Ravens, they needed to add more options in the passing game for Joe Flacco, and Smith gives them a tough veteran gamer that the Ravens have missed since they made a huge mistake and dumped Anquan Boldin.
I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I understand why the Panthers has to get rid of Smith, he is a huge personality in the locker room and I do not believe that Cam Newton will step into a leadership role until Smith’s presence is out of the locker room.
Look at what happened in New York when the Giants got rid of big personalities like Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber, so Eli Manning could step into a leadership role, the Giants immediately won the Super Bowl. Sometimes young quarterbacks will not step into a leadership role when there is a veteran with a dominating presence in the locker room, getting rid of Smith was the Panthers passing the reigns to Cam Newton, and now it’s time for him to step up.