Ravens sign Jimmy Smith to four year extension
Turron Davenport | 4/22/2015, noon | Updated on 4/22/2015, 10:58 a.m.
BALTIMORE The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a contract extension that will keep their best corner-back in town for a while. The deal is reportedly worth $41,102,000 over four years. It is said to guarantee Smith $20 million including a $13 million signing bonus. Smith’s annual salary will be $10,275,000 but his cap hit is a lowly $3.6 million in 2015.
Signing Smith to this deal is one of the best moves that the Ravens have done this off season. At 26 years old, Smith was in the midst of cementing himself as one of the best young corners in the NFL prior to injuring his foot against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens believe that Smith’s best years are yet to come. General Manager Ozzie Newsome pointed this out at a press conference to announce the signing. “I think that his best football is still ahead of him,” Newsome said. “If he doesn't get hurt in the Cincinnati game last year, I don’t know where he could have ended up as a player, but he was definitely trending up.”
Smith was a first round draft pick for the Ravens in 2011. His career got off to a slow start but the Ravens have stuck with him and allowed him to develop into the top flight corner that he is today. The dedication that the team showed in Smith didn't go unnoticed. “They drafted me and trusted me,” Smith continued, “For this organization to stand behind me through everything that has happened even up to this point, it means a lot. They have my back and I am staying here.”
The annual salary that Smith will receive is a bit lower than some of the other top players at this position but that is not an issue to him. He talked at his press conference about how he “plans on getting rings.” It should be noted that Smith made one of the biggest defensive plays during the Ravens most recent Super Bowl victory. He was one on one with the San Francisco 49ers’ Michael Crabtree and prevented Crabtree from catching what would have been the go ahead touchdown.
For Smith, it’s surely a treat to get paid but it’s not all about the money. He believes in the team concept and did not want to sign a deal that would prevent the Ravens from keeping the roster stacked with quality players. “It was never truly about being the highest paid corner. I knew I couldn't be that and be here just because of the talent already spread around. You have to pay other people.”
Entering his fifth season, Smith is focused on recovering from his foot injury. He was in a walking boot for quite some time and has recently resumed running. The road back was a tough one for Smith because he wanted to be on the field with his teammates. The Ravens have started their off-season workouts and rest assured that Smith is a very happy participant.