Steve Smith WR BAL 25 Days

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the Steve Smith release was strictly a football decision.

Both Rivera and GM Dave Gettleman have denied reports that they viewed Smith as a "distraction." But they've been willing to take shots at the 34-year-old's remaining ability. "He doesn't have the top-end speed like he used to, but he still has good speed," Rivera said Wednesday. Smitty won't be asked to take the top off of defenses in Baltimore. He'll be playing the possession-style Kevin Walter role in Gary Kubiak's offense.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month3 Comments

Newly acquired WR Steve Smith said he's fine with being a "complementary dude" with the Ravens.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month

Ravens agreed to terms with WR Steve Smith, formerly of the Panthers, on a three-year contract.

Smith didn't want to venture far from his Charlotte base, and the Ravens didn't want to let him leave without a contract. Going on 35, Smith has lost multiple steps the past two seasons, but is still an extremely sure pair of hands, and capable of making plays against tight coverage. He's the kind of chain mover the Ravens sorely lacked after trading away Anquan Boldin. Smith may only catch 50-60 passes in 2014, but along with a healthy Dennis Pitta, will take pressure off of Joe Flacco. Smith's fantasy value is on the wane, but he'll be in the WR3/4 conversation.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports free agent Steve Smith will visit the Ravens on Friday.

We won't have a resolution Thursday. Smith is hopping on a plane tonight and will meet with Ravens brass in the morning. Baltimore is far and away the favorite to land the soon-to-be 35-year-old. At this point, Smith's name is bigger than his game, but he brings toughness and very reliable hands. He'd be the No. 3 option in the Ravens passing attack, behind Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month

The Ravens are "working to finalize" a visit with free agent Steve Smith.

Baltimore is clearly out in front to land Smith, who would complement Dennis Pitta and Torrey Smith in new OC Gary Kubiak's offense. Kubiak never made heavy use of his No. 2 receivers in Houston, targeting "No. 1" Andre Johnson and his tight ends relentlessly. So it isn't a great spot for fantasy value.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month

The Ravens have reportedly emerged as the favorite to sign free agent WR Steve Smith.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month2 Comments

Panthers released WR Steve Smith.

Smith has spent all 13 years of his career with the Panthers, going from 2001 third-round pick to face of the franchise and one of the game's most fearsome receivers. He posted seven 1,000-yard seasons, scored 67 touchdowns and went to the Super Bowl bowl once. But as Smith lost a step or three going on age 35, the organization reportedly found his antics to be a "distraction" and dumped him in unceremonious fashion. He'd fit as an Eric Decker replacement in Denver, or as a No. 2 option in Baltimore. The Bucs, Patriots, Cowboys and Chargers are also thought to be on Smiff's list.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month

Steve Smith reportedly gave Panthers GM Dave Gettleman five landing spots -- the Cowboys, Patriots, Ravens, Bucs, and Chargers -- while Gettleman was trying to trade Smith.

Smith is now going to be cut, so these teams provide clues as to where Smith wants to play. That, of course, doesn't mean all five teams will want Smith back. It is believed Baltimore's interest is mutual, however, and at this point we'd call them the tentative favorites to land "89". GM Ozzie Newsome would have to hope acquiring Smith would work out better than the Lee Evans debacle.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month

According to the SportsXchange, the Panthers have been unable to trade Steve Smith and will release him Thursday.

Steve Smith WR BAL 1 Month4 Comments

Sources tell the Charlotte Observer that Panthers GM Dave Gettleman views Steve Smith as a "distraction," and wants to turn the locker room over to Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.

Smith's agent has declared his Panthers career through, and it sounds like the feeling is very much mutual. Smith's excellent career has been fueled by one mighty chip on his shoulder, but that can be an exhausting personality trait for teammates and coaches. Some fresh air might do Smith well as he rides off into the sunset of his career.