Torrey Smith On Trading Block? Would Ravens Bring Him Back?
The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly open to dealing wide receiver Torrey Smith with the Nov. 1 trade deadline approaching, and there are plenty of teams interested in nabbing the 27-year-old speedster.
However, there are no signs the Ravens are interested in bringing back their former second-round draft selection. The team that seems most likely to make a deal with San Francisco is the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles are looking for an outside receiver for rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, according to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora. He reports Alshon Jeffrey is an option you can't rule out, but Smith is the team's "prime target." Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas was a scout for the Ravens when they drafted Smith in 2011.
ProFootballTalk.com reports the two sides are currently discussing trade possibilities, but no deal is imminent, and reiterated other teams may be interested.
It seems unlikely that the Ravens would be one of those teams for a couple of reasons, including Smith's salary and the fact that they've restocked with speedy outside receivers since his departure.
The Ravens allowed Smith to walk via free agency in 2015 when he cashed in on a five-year, $40 million deal with the 49ers. That's a lot of money for a player that has only caught 13 passes all season after notching 33 all of last year.
He never posted fewer than 49 receptions in all four years in Baltimore, leading some outlets, including The Washington Post, to label Smith a "high-priced free-agency bust." With such low production, La Canfora said the 49ers would like to "dump" his salary and get something in return as they start a rebuilding process after the team has started the season 1-6.
Don't expect them to "dump" that salary in Baltimore after the team already declined to match the big payday a year-and-a-half ago. Smith has a $4.5 million base salary this season, and that goes up to $6.5 million each year through the 2019 season. Baltimore would have to pick all of that up AND give up something in return, such as a draft pick or a player.
Even if they had the salary-cap space (they don't), the Ravens already have three wide receivers that can stretch the field like Smith, including Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore. All three combined don't cost as much as Smith.
It's true that quarterback Joe Flacco and Smith developed a strong chemistry over the years, but Flacco is already well on his way to doing the same with Wallace, who is cheaper and has more production. Wallace has 35 catches for 490 yards and three touchdowns, which not only blows away what Smith has put up so far this season, but already beats Smith's receptions for all of last year.
Based on reports, the more likely scenario is the Ravens will see Smith again as an opponent when the Eagles come to visit on Dec. 18 for a Week 15 showdown.
"If the Eagles are, in fact, interested in acquiring Smith, they must view themselves as a legit Super Bowl contender," wrote CBSSports.com's Sean Wagner-McGough. "After their beatdown of the Vikings this past Sunday, it's easy to see why that's the case."
No Signs Of Interest In Trading For Tackles With Ronnie Stanley's Injury
One last note about trade possibilities …
I've gotten questions about whether Baltimore would be interested in any tackles that are reportedly available via trade. The questions stem from No. 6 overall pick Ronnie Stanley missing four games – coinciding with the Ravens' four losses – and Rick Wagner in the final season of his four-year rookie deal.
"In addition to Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, 49ers left tackle Joe Staley also could be had in trade," wrote PFT.com's Mike Florio.
Florio named several teams that may be interested in the two tackles, which did not include the Ravens. Instead,* *the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots were named as trade candidates.
Both teams denied wanting to trade their tackles (see below), but rumors persist.
As for Stanley's return, many analysts expect him back after the bye week, but they also expected a return last week against the New York Jets after Stanley was a full participant in practice the entire week preceding the game. Instead, he was a surprising deactivation.
Both Head Coach John Harbaugh and Stanley haven given few clues about his status.
"I haven't viewed him as anything," Harbaugh said Monday afternoon. "I just go with what the trainers and doctors tell me."
A fan asked The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec if the team's medical staff is just being conservative with Stanley, not wanting to risk further injury.
Will Any Ravens Join Ray Lewis At the Pro Bowl?
Future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis looks pumped up about being the AFC's co-captain at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. in January. He will join his former Steelers nemesis Jerome Bettis as a "legends" captain.
Lewis will certainly put on a show with his vibrant personality, which will be fun for Ravens fans to watch in the otherwise less-than-exciting game.
The question will be how many of the current Ravens will join him at the Disney-themed Pro Bowl.
"It will be nice for somebody to represent the Baltimore Ravens, as I suspect the Pro Bowl may feature one or two Ravens total," wrote Baltimore Beatdown's Kyle P Barber.
"No doubt Justin Tucker is playing at Pro Bowl level, but no other Raven has produced well. Maybe Sam Koch if he doesn't punt his leg off from this offense. I digress, this is not another article where I slam the roster, but rather display my excitement for Ray. It's never a bad thing to see Ray Lewis involved in the NFL, and while I'm not a Pro Bowl fan I just may observe Ray coach and yell on the sidelines. It could be fun as he dials up a jailbreak blitz or two."
Bears Claim Tight End Daniel Brown
The Chicago Bears have claimed tight end Daniel Brown, who the Ravens waived Saturday, according to the NFL transactions list.
Brown has bounced around from the practice squad, to the 53-man squad to off the roster altogether this season. The latest move was to help make room for running back Lorenzo Taliaferro and cornerback Robertson Daniel prior to the Jets game (safety Kendrick Lewis was also put on injured reserve).
"The Ravens had hoped to re-sign Brown to their practice squad, but they now have a vacancy there," wrote The Sun's Edward Lee.