The Buccaneers will sign linebacker Daryl Smith, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Ravens cut Smith earlier this month in order to save roughly $2.6MM against the 2016 cap. Now, Smith will give the Bucs a linebacker to replace last year’s starter, Danny Lansanah.
Smith, who joined the Ravens for the 2013 season after spending nine years in Jacksonville, hasn’t missed a game in his three years in Baltimore, starting the last 48 regular-season games for the club. In 2015, he racked up 121 tackles to go along with three sacks and an interception.
While Smith’s release came as a bit of a surprise, Pro Football Focus did rank him just 71st out of 97 qualified linebackers in 2015, and he did just recently celebrate his 34th birthday. The Ravens ultimately decided to go younger and cheaper at the position while potentially not taking a major step back in terms of production.
The Bucs, meanwhile, pounced on an opportunity to add a talented veteran linebacker with big-game experience. Smith met with the Bucs on Thursday afternoon and, just hours later, found his new NFL home.
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