When Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome addressed the media to announce the contract extension for veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs, he left the door open of more possible extensions.
When asked if the organization has started extension talks with other players already, Newsome responded. “Yes we have. Yes we have.”
While Newsome never made mention of which players the Ravens have spoken with, one such player could be wide receiver and hometown favorite Torrey Smith.
Smith, the former Maryland Terp, is set to become a free agent in 2015. The Ravens’ number one wide receiver in 2013, Smith started all 16 games and led the team with career highs in receptions (65), receiving yards (1,128, NFL’s 17th most in 2013 ) along with a 17.4 ypc average (tied for his best ever) and four touchdowns.
Smith also became the first Ravens player since 2009 (Derrick Mason – 1,028) to produce 1,000-plus receiving yards in a season.
Along with stepping into the leading receiver role for the Ravens in 2013, Smith also took over a leadership role for the teams’ young receivers.
“If you’re having a tough day of practice, everyone is hurting and tired, usually I just look over at Torrey, and I just see how he responds,” rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown was quoted as saying in the Ravens 2013 Season Review.
“He responds with a good attitude, so I’m going to get out there and respond with a good attitude,” Brown added. “If something is going wrong, or if I need help with something, I go to Torrey before I go to anybody. He’s our leader.”
If the Ravens don’t attempt to extend the speedy wide receiver, they could ultimately face the same scenario they did with Joe Flacco. Flacco and the Ravens were unable to reach a deal before the 2012 Super Bowl season started, and Flacco gambled on himself and won.
This January, Smith told the team’s official website that he wasn’t focused on getting a long-term deal heading into the final season of his rookie contract.
“No way I’m thinking about that,” Smith said. “That’s the furthest thing from my mind. Guys get caught up in that stuff, but I’m not really the guy to get caught up in things that I can’t control.
“I signed a four-year deal, so for me to be like, ‘Hey, they could extend me.’ Why would I even think about something that I can’t control? We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The team has made it known that they would still pursue a wide receiver this offseason whether through the draft or free agency; however, Smith will no doubt be a huge factor in what should be a potent Gary Kubiak offense.
For now the Ravens will continue to work behind the scenes to do what they do best: figuring a way to keep their best players for the right money for the long term.
Lets just hope Smith is part of that plan and they can secure him sooner rather than later.
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