Veteran receiver Steve Smith has a New Year’s resolution that will be of particular interest to Ravens fans. The star wideout announced today (via Twitter) that he intends to put off his retirement plans for at least one more year, and will return to the Ravens for the 2016 season.
A five-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro, Smith announced earlier this year that this season would be his last. However, a torn Achilles derailed his 2015 campaign after just seven games, raising questions about whether he’d want to end his career on such a disappointing note.
Of course, for Smith to return to the Ravens next season, the team will have to want him back, but it doesn’t look like there’s any question that Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and the rest of the organization are on board with the idea. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun tweets that team officials have suspected for months that the former third-round pick would continue playing.
Despite turning 36 this year, Smith was more effective than ever in the first half of the 2015 season, with 46 receptions for 670 yards in his seven games. The 95.7 yards per game average was the second-highest of his 15-year NFL career.
Smith still has one year remaining on his three-year contract with Baltimore, and the salary and cap hit for 2016 is identical to his 2015 figures — he’ll earn $3MM in salary, with a cap hit of about $4.167MM.