For the last few days, the Carolina Panthers have been searching far and wide in hopes of finding a trade partner for Steve Smith. Assuming they haven’t already found one, the aging wide receiver will be let go any minute.
Whenever the ax falls for Smith, the Baltimore Ravens are expected to be serious players in acquiring his services. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens are “expected to emerge as a strong potential landing spot.”
The Ravens, who are a bit short at wide receiver, could certainly use the soon-to-be 35-year-old receiver. With only Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown as serious threats out wide, the Baltimore offense struggle mightily this season. Joe Flacco couldn’t keep the passing game alive, which allowed the Ravens to fall out of playoff contention in the final week of the season.
By bringing Smith aboard, the Ravens would find themselves a consistent, reliable receiver who can make plays all over the field. Although he’s clearly lost a step or five over his 13 years with the Panthers, he’s still productive. Last season, he amassed 64 catches, 745 yards and four touchdowns as Cam Newton’s go-to receiver. Although it was one of the lowest totals of his career, Smith clearly has something left in the tank.
More than anything, Smith would be a chain mover for the Ravens, something they seriously lacked last season. His veteran presence would also help bring some guidance and leadership to the locker room.
Once he’s released, expect Smith to receive considerable interest from around the NFL because of his productivity. The Ravens will certainly be one of the top potential landing spots.