Analysts Predict Torrey Smith Outcome

Wide receiver Torrey Smith is the Ravens' highest profile pending free agent, and there's no shortage of opinion on whether he'll remain in Baltimore. 

Smith has said he wants to remain a Raven. Head Coach John Harbaugh reiterated Wednesday that he would like to keep Smith, and even did some recruiting when he saw Smith at a University of Maryland basketball game.

Now the question is whether the two sides can come to an agreement.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport weighed in on the situation while at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Rapoport gave his prediction, saying he thinks Smith will stay.

"My gut is that he probably doesn't hit the open market," he said.

"Usually if your own player hits the market, usually that's it. It seems to be a situation where both sides say, 'You know what, maybe neither of us are going to end up in the place we wanted, but it makes too much sense to see it go away.'"

The debate is how high the Ravens value Smith and how high Smith values himself.

Smith has made a lot of big plays for the Ravens over his four seasons, but he is coming off one of his worst years in which he had career lows in receptions (49) and receiving yards (767). He scored a career-high 11 touchdowns, however.

A lower performing season after posting 65 catches for 1,128 yards the year before makes Smith's value tough to determine. Mortensen compared him to Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace, another speedster who got a reported five-year, $60 million contract during the 2013 offseason.

"The Ravens are not going to overpay," Mortensen said. "These receivers get $10 million-plus these days. Will he get that? I don't view him like Mike Wallace; I think Torrey has great off-field and football character. But he's shown he's a one dimensional guy for the most part." 

"But it's a pretty good one dimension. And when you have Joe Flacco, it's tough to lose that one dimension. And it's a complement to what you have in Steve Smith, who has at least another good year left. I would hate to lose Torrey Smith if I were the Ravens."

Florio also said Smith has "never really developed into a full-blown, every-route receiver." Rapoport questioned whether Smith is a game-changer for opposing defenses.

"He looks like a No. 1 receiver, drafted to be a No. 1 receiver, you can say he's a No. 1 receiver, but the stats really haven't shown that," Rapoport said. "So what actually is his value? Is he a guy where you go into a game and you say, 'If we stop him, we'll be OK.' That's the case with Dez Bryant."

Another aspect that Rapoport brought up is Smith's locker room and off-the-field contributions. He's one of the team's leaders and is beloved in the Baltimore community, just north of where he went to college at the University of Maryland.

"In Baltimore, he is really important in the locker room and in the community. He's a guy whose value is stronger here than it is anywhere else," Rapoport said. "So it would make a lot of sense if both sides can come together and do a deal."

So the question remains. What will the Ravens and Smith do?

Florio said he wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens let Smith remain unsigned until he can start fielding offers from other teams three days prior to free agency opening. That way, Smith could see what his value is elsewhere without actually signing.

"Maybe Torrey Smith sees what's out there and that helps the Ravens and Smith find an answer," Florio said.

Rapoport believes that the two sides should be able to find common ground.

"How willing is he to come off [his salary figure] a little bit and say, 'You know what, I'm going to accept maybe a little less than I wanted to make sure I'm here?'" Rapoport said. "Maybe he does a shorter deal to show he's a No. 1 receiver again."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content