2:30pm: The Ravens officially announced the completion deal at a press conference with local reporters.
2:04pm: It’s a four-year extension worth $48MM, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The deal includes $21MM in fully guaranteed cash.
1:54pm: Smith’s new deal will average just under $10MM per year, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
1:42pm: The Ravens and cornerback Jimmy Smith have reached a verbal agreement on a contract extension that will keep Smith in Baltimore beyond the 2015 season, the team announced today in a press release. Smith’s deal had been set to expire next March.
Smith, 26, has spent the first four years of his career with the Ravens, though injuries have limited his playing time since he entered the league as the 27th overall pick in 2011. In his four NFL seasons, Smith has missed 16 regular season contests, including eight in 2014. A Baltimore secondary hit hard by injuries last season struggled when he wasn’t in the lineup.
When he has been healthy, Smith has quickly developed into one of the more reliable cornerbacks in the NFL. During the 2013 campaign, the only season in which Smith played all 16 games, he recorded a +4.1 grade on Pro Football Focus (subscription required), limiting opposing quarterbacks to a 54.3% completion percentage and a 76.3 passer rating on throws into his coverage.
As a former first-round pick, Smith had a fifth-year option included on his rookie contract, and had been set to play the coming season on that option-year salary of $6.898MM. We’ll have to wait and see whether the new deal alters that figure, but the Colorado product figures to be in line for a raise for future seasons. Annual salaries for the top free agent corners this offseason – including Byron Maxwell, Brandon Flowers, Kareem Jackson, and Chris Culliver – ranged from $8-11MM, and I’d expect Smith to land in that neighborhood as well.
Heading into the 2015 season, Smith figures to start across from Lardarius Webb, who reworked his contract last month in order to remain in Baltimore. The two veteran corners will join safeties Matt Elam and newly-signed Kendrick Lewis in the Ravens’ starting lineup.
Of the 2011 first-round picks who had their fifth-year options picked up last spring, Smith is the second one to sign an extension in 2015, on the heels of Mike Pouncey‘s new deal with the Dolphins. A handful of 2011 first-rounders, including J.J. Watt, Tyron Smith, and Patrick Peterson, inked new contracts with their respective teams in 2014.
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