In a move that was widely anticipated across the NFL - though it was not known how quickly the deal would take place -- the Baltimore Ravens signed wide receiver Steve Smith to a three-year deal on Friday, March 14.
Financial terms of the deal were not made public initially but ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news about Smith’s deal on his Twitter page Friday.
The former Utah Utes star moves on to Baltimore having played his entire pro career in Carolina.
Smith's deal with the Ravens is “reported to be $11 million, with a $3.5M signing bonus, per league source,“ according to Panthers beat reporter Joe Person of the Charlotte News & Observer.
The Ravens were the first team rumored to be interested in Smith’s services after the Panthers released him. Other teams that were reportedly interested included New England and Super Bowl champion Seattle.
Quarterback Joe Flacco did not take Baltimore to the Super Bowl this past year -- as he had done in 2012-13. But Smith believes Flacco is the right guy to get the Ravens back in the championship conversation.
“I’ve watched him throw a lot of dimes against us when I was in Carolina,” Smith said in an interview on the Ravens‘ Web site. “I’ve watched him do a lot of great things, in the playoffs, in the postseason. Now I get to be part of that.”
The one controversy Smith might stir up now is that of his potential pairing with Ravens wide reciever Anquan Boldin -- who was Flacco’s top target last season.
But Smith was quick to quash any rumor of a potential logjam at his position in an article on the Ravens’ Web site.