OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens off to the worst start in franchise history, many have questioned whether a trade of Steve Smith to a Super Bowl contender might be in the works.
The 36-year-old wide receiver plans to retire after the season, so wouldn’t it make sense for general manager Ozzie Newsome to deal the five-time Pro Bowl receiver for something that could help the franchise in 2016 and beyond?
Apparently, it’s not happening despite a 1-5 record that already puts the Ravens five games behind Cincinnati in the AFC North entering Week 7.
“That’s the first I’ve heard that one,” said head coach John Harbaugh of the trade speculation. “No, there’s no chance of that one. I wouldn’t part with him.”
Smith said Friday that he’d quit if traded elsewhere and that he wants to finish what he started. The trade deadline falls on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m., meaning the best record the Ravens could have by then would be 3-5.
Citing Baltimore’s proximity to his family’s home in Charlotte, N.C., Smith signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Ravens last year that runs through the 2016 season. With the former Carolina Panther playing at such a high level and the Ravens lacking consistent production at the receiver position beyond him, might Harbaugh and others within the organization try to persuade him to reconsider his retirement plans?
“We’ve got a game Monday night,” said Harbaugh as he laughed. “He’s going to be here Monday night — I can promise you that. And for every game after that.”
Smith said earlier this week that his plans after the season remain “on schedule” after he announced his intentions in early August.