The Ravens roster is still taking shape and John Harbaugh isn’t sure whether two of his veteran defenders will return. When asked about the status of edge rusher Pernell McPhee and cornerback Jimmy Smith, the head coach couldn’t say whether they’d stick in Baltimore, head elsewhere, or even retire.
“I have (talked to them), but I think it’s for them to say what their plans are. I’ll leave that to them,” Harbaugh said (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic).
No matter what McPhee does, it’s likely that the Ravens will be reworking their edge group. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser could be on his way out after a year of porous pass coverage capped by a torn Achilles. Fellow pass rusher Justin Houston is also a free agent, which means that the Ravens are likely to prioritize the position in the draft.
Smith, 34 in July, has spent his entire career in Baltimore. Since 2011, he’s suited up for 128 games with 90 starts, registering 14 interceptions, three sacks, and 374 career tackles. While he’s been a staple of the secondary, his production has clearly slipped with time. He’s also earned more than enough money to walk away, so it’s possible that he’ll move on to new endeavors this offseason.
Both players are out of contract and free to sign anywhere, but we’ve haven’t heard much about either vet in recent weeks.