According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Steve Smith flew into Baltimore Thursday night in order to meet with the Ravens front office this morning. It is the most recent development in what has been a hot topic for discussion this free agency period, as the former Carolina Panthers wide receiver was released after 13 seasons with the team.
In an interview with WFNZ in Charlotte on Thursday morning, Smith didn’t hold back his anger when talking about the Panthers’ decision to cut ties and describing what exactly his new team will be getting:
They’re going to get the best, in-shape 35 year-old guy that they can get. And if that happens to run through Bank of America Stadium, put your goggles on because there is going to be blood and guts everywhere.
Ever since it was leaked that Carolina planned to release the diminutive receiver, him and the Ravens have been strongly linked. A natural fit for both teams, Smith is able to contribute to a contending team at a position of need. Conversely, the Ravens are able to fill their need for a physical, reliable target for Joe Flacco.
The move itself is reminiscent of when Baltimore signed Derrick Mason away from Tennessee late in his career. Mason was a bit younger than Smith, however, they are at similar stages in their careers. Both were previously thought of as speedy receivers, and part of their availability in the first place is accredited to their suspected diminished ability. However, the Ravens stand to benefit most, once again, from a team casting away a former staple point.
If the Ravens and Smith are able to work out a deal today, there is no doubt they will be getting a motivated product. However, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he has also scheduled meetings with other teams for next week, indicating that Smith to the Ravens is not a sure thing just yet.
As for the Ravens’ matchup with Carolina this year, if Smith foregoes those other meetings and is on that plane, make sure to bring the bleach and squeegee.
UPDATE: According to Aaron Wilson, Smith met with Harbaugh and Kubiak last night in addition to his meetings today.