The Baltimore Ravens signed Daryl Smith on Wednesday, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, in hopes of filling in the Ray Lewis-sized hole in the linebacker corps. Smith is the Jacksonville Jaguars' all-time leading tackler, but the team opted not to re-sign the veteran when he became an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Smith is arguably the Jags' steadiest defensive player ever, starting 120 games from 2004 through 2011. He missed all but two games last year due to a groin injury, however. This offseason, he garnered very little interest from other organizations, suggesting that perhaps teams were turned off by his age (31) and prospects coming off a serious injury.
The rosier possibility is that Smith was simply waiting for the right opportunity. He lands in a great situation for playing time in Baltimore. The team signed Rolando McClain earlier this offseason, but he decided to take an early retirement after running afoul of the law shortly after he was signed. Smith should land on the two-deep, and compete for playing time at inside linebacker with Jameel McClain and rookie Arthur Brown.
Smith also has the versatility to play outside linebacker, but with Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil installed on the left and right sides of the line, the Ravens are pretty well set.