Steve Smith WR BAL 4 Months

Ravens OC Gary Kubiak says Steve Smith has brought an "edge" to practice.

In other words, he's still Bottom Line 89. "He's just so competitive," Kubiak said. "He challenges people as far as how you play, how you go about doing things. ... He challenged coaches, too." DC Dean Pees says he's instructed his players not to upset Smith. Although Smith's game is in steep decline, he'll provide the leadership and sure pair of hands the Ravens lost when they dealt Anquan Boldin to the 49ers.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

Steve Smith reportedly made his mind up in January that he would play one more NFL season, then retire in 2015.

Smith cited knee soreness as one of the main factors. "The only people who knew were my close friends and my wife," he said. "This year was actually going to be my last year in Carolina. I was going to retire. I was done." Smith said his knee suddenly started "feeling better" after the Panthers released him, "and the next thing you know, I got a three-year deal" with the Ravens. Smith says he hopes to fulfill the entire Baltimore contract. GM Ozzie Newsome hopes Smith pans out better than Lee Evans.

Steve Smith WR BAL 7 Months

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 7 Months3 Comments

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

Steve Smith WR BAL 7 Months

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 7 Months

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 7 Months

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 7 Months

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

Steve Smith WR BAL 7 Months2 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 7 Months

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.