The transition from the Ray Lewis era went smoother than most fans anticipated, largely thanks to the offseason addition of Daryl Smith. The former Jacksonville Jaguar finished the season as the Ravens’ leading tackler with 123 combined stops, five sacks, three interceptions and 19 pass deflections. As one may infer, he was an integral part of the defense’s production and just always seemed to be around the ball.
Which is why it was perplexing that the Ravens appeared prepared to let Smith hit the free agent market.
However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Ravens and Smith have agreed to a 4-year contract worth $16.1 million. The deal is similar to the one that the Tennessee Titans agreed to with former Denver Bronco, Wesley Woodyard, however, Smith is certainly the more well-rounded and productive inside linebacker.
The signing sheds some light on the inside linebacker position heading into training camp, with Daryl Smith and former second-round pick, Arthur Brown, on top of the depth chart. Before the Smith signing, the positional depth looked a bit murky after Jameel McClain signed with the New York Giants. But now that the Ravens have Smith back in the middle of their defense, they can move forward with their other needs. They will most likely direct their attention to wide receiver and the offensive line.
Ravens fans can now breathe a collective sigh of relief, as one of their vital cogs from last season will remain a part of the equation for the foreseeable future. And Daryl Smith has a very good reason to celebrate his 32 birthday.