While he hasn’t publicly wavered from his retirement stance, Ravens wideout Steve Smith Sr. is leaning toward returning for the 2016 season, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Citing “several people close to” Smith, La Canfora reports that the veteran receiver is already talking about coming back, adding that he scheduled a quick surgery for next Monday to repair his torn Achilles.
Even before Smith went down with his season-ending Achilles injury on Sunday, there had been whispers in recent weeks that 2015 may not be his last season after all. That speculation likely stemmed in part from his production on the field — heading into Week 8, the 36-year-old has grabbed 41 balls for 588 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 98 yards per game — the second-highest mark of his career.
Following the injury, head coach John Harbaugh said he had “a feeling” that Smith would be back next season, while running back Justin Forsett was among the Ravens players who said he’d be “whispering in [Smith’s] ear” to encourage a return for 2016.
Smith has one more year left on his contract with the Ravens, and is due a base salary of $3MM in ’16.