Inside linebacker Daryl Smith will return to the Ravens after agreeing to a four-year deal, a source has confirmed to CSN-Baltimore. The deal, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, is worth around $16 million.
Re-signing Smith, who led the team in tackles last season, was a priority for the Ravens. He had drawn interest from the Broncos, who have already loaded up on defensive free agents. However, Smith fit in well with the Ravens, after spending all nine of his previous NFL seasons with the Jaguars. A sure tackler with a nose for the football, Smith immediately became a defensive leader as an every-down linebacker. He called defensive signals, he played the run well, he was the Ravens’ best linebacker in pass coverage with three interceptions, and he was an effective blitzing linebacker with five sacks.
Replacing Smith would not have been easy. Now the Ravens don’t have to.
The Ravens have done a solid job re-signing many of the veteran free agents they wanted to keep - tight end Dennis Pitta, left tackle Eugene Monroe, wide receiver Jacoby Jones, and now Smith. However, after an 8-8 season, the next step is bringing in new talent.
Free agent wide receiver Steve Smith visited the Ravens on Friday, and the Ravens hope he is the next Smith to join them.