In what has been a wild week off the field for the Ravens organization, fans were treated to some good news by General Manager Ozzie Newsome.
As the Ravens brass has been sorting through potential draft prospects at the NFL Combine, Newsome announced that the team has begun contract talks with veteran linebacker Daryl Smith.
“Daryl did a great job for us,” Newsome said when he took the podium in Indianapolis. “We have engaged in some conversations with his representative.”
As I stated earlier this month in my article Ravens Can’t Afford to Let Daryl Smith Walk, it seems the team has taken the first steps in order to keep Daryl in the purple and black for the 2014 and perhaps longer.
Initially signed to a one-year deal in 2013, Smith provided a smooth transition for the Ravens at the middle linebacker position on the heels of Ray Lewis’s retirement.
Once the ink dried on Smith’s contract the former Jacksonville Jaguar never looked back. Starting all 16 games, he led the team in total tackles in 2013 with 123 and his five sacks were good for third on defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ unit. Smith didn’t stop there. The veteran linebacker also had three interceptions, tying him with James Ihedigbo for second on the team, as well as forcing two fumbles.
While there is a long way to go in contract talks and with the salary cap increase for teams in 2014 the odds of keeping Smith are decent.
With the focus being on the offense this offseason, inking Smith for the long-term would be ideal for a defense he anchored and anchored well in 2013.
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