Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. declared surprising news during his afternoon media session saying he will retire after the 2015 football season. The announcement was made via BaltimoreRavens.com. It was expected by many that Smith would retire in the next couple of years but nobody expected him to announce retirement so soon and in the middle of training camp.
>Smith Sr., a 36 year old veteran who has spent 15 seasons in NFL, currently has 915 catches for 13,262 yards and 73 touchdowns. Smith Sr. only needs 638 yards to pass Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter for 10th spot for all-time receiving yards in the NFL.
The Ravens have dealt with a similar story when future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis announced his retirement in the week of the AFC Wild Card game in the 2012 season. The announcement in some ways propelled the Ravens to winning their second Super Bowl in franchise history.
Could the Ravens send Smith out in the same way? They certainly have the talent to do so. From a passing game standpoint, the Ravens are returning to an offensive line that only allowed 19 sacks last season which was the second lowest in the NFL. If the offensive line can return similar results, it would go a long way in helping the Ravens secure a first round bye in the AFC Divisional round.
The Ravens drafted wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, and the team has received a pleasant rise in competition at the wide receiver position with guys like Jeremy Butler, Kamar Aiken and Darren Waller stepping up to the plate and making a name for themselves. With this being Smith Sr.’s last season, every young receiver on the Ravens roster should take the time to learn everything he knows.
This would be the opportune time for the Ravens to rally around Smith Sr. and it would certainly keep the Ravens focused over the course of the season.