Shareece Wright looked like he was ready to sign with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this week.
After getting cut by the San Francisco 49ers on Friday, the cornerback fielded calls from multiple teams and was leaning towards joining the Seahawks.
That's when he got a call from his best friend of 14 years, Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. The two of them played football together at Colton High School in Southern California, and Smith wasn't about to let his friend go elsewhere.
"I called him and was like, 'Yo, how rare is this that you get to play ball, starting corners with your best friend?" Smith asked him.
Wright listened to his friend's advice and signed with the Ravens Monday night.
"We've always talked about if we have the opportunity to be on the same team – playing corner on the same team – one day like we did in high school, how it would be a blessing," Wright said. "It played a big role. That's like my brother."
Coming to Baltimore is no small move for Wright. He grew up outside of Los Angeles, went to college at USC, was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and then signed with the 49ers this offseason.
Smith is convinced that Wright would have stayed out West without his sales pitch.
"I'm 100 percent sure he came here because of me," he said with a laugh. "He's a West Coast guy. He was not coming out to the East unless I was there."
Smith recalled looking up to Wright in high school, and he actually credited Wright with teaching him how to play football.
"It was him and another one of my friends that were like the football gods in our area," Smith said. "I was just the basketball kid trying to play football, so they taught me a lot."
Now it's Smith's turn to do the teaching.
With Wright arriving in Baltimore less than a week before the Ravens face his old team in San Francisco, the Ravens need the fifth-year cornerback to quickly pick up the defense. Smith and Wright have talked football schemes over the years, and the two of them train together every offseason.
That familiarity will help Wright get adjusted to his new home, and having a friendly face a few lockers down certainly doesn't hurt.
"We've always had a great relationship, we've always stayed in contact, so it's just kind of crazy that he's here," Smith said. "It's a unique privilege and it's a great feeling to have somebody that you've known for that long out here."