The Baltimore Ravens have signed five-time Pro Bowl WR Steve Smith to a three-year contract, vice president and general manager Ozzie Newsome announced Friday evening.
“We’ve added one of the top competitors in the NFL to the Ravens,” Newsome stated. “Steve is a proven player who has performed his best in big games and on the biggest stages like the playoffs and Super Bowl. He adds toughness to our offense, big-play ability and leadership to our team.”
Smith, who has played his entire 13-year NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, has appeared in 182 career games (second most in team history), recording 836 receptions for 12,197 yards (14.6 avg.) and 67 touchdowns. Impressively, he holds the Panthers’ franchise mark in each respective category. Smith, 34, has also posted 57 rushes for 387 yards and two touchdowns during his career. Last season, the 5-9, 185-pounder appeared in 15 games with the Panthers, hauling in 64 catches for 745 yards and four touchdowns.
“Steve is a Ravens-style football player,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He always has been in our eyes, it’s just that he’s been playing for another team. We’ve respected and admired the way he plays, and we’ve always been challenged playing against him. I’ve known him ever since he came into the league, and we’ve always had a great relationship. The last two days, however, have given all of us with the Ravens an opportunity to get to know him on another level, and now, we’re even more impressed. We’re looking forward to working together and competing together.”
Smith’s most productive season came in 2005, when he led the NFL in receptions (103), receiving yards (1,563) and receiving touchdowns (12) en route to earning his second Pro Bowl honor. After missing nearly the entire 2004 season with a broken leg, Smith was named the NFL’s co-Comeback Player of the Year (Tedy Bruschi).
Since entering the league as a third-round draft choice out of Utah in 2001, Smith has recorded seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons, tied for second most (Reggie Wayne – eight) among active NFL players.
While with Carolina, Smith produced a franchise-best 43 career 100-yard receiving games in the regular season, tied for 11th in NFL history. He is one of just 17 players to record 40-or-more such games all time.