Torrey Smith Offers Opinion On Mike Wallace Taking Over Speedy Role
If you put former Ravens receiver Torrey Smith up against other NFL players in a foot race, he'll usually tell you that he's faster than just about everybody.
The guy can flat-out fly, and he says he can "blow past" almost anybody in the league.
But when Smith was asked whether he is faster than the Ravens' newest speedster, Mike Wallace, he couldn't muster any boastful words.
"Mike's fast, man. Most of the time, I'll tell you I'm faster than whoever. I'm not even going to sit there and tell you that I think I'm faster," Smith told Glenn Clark Radio in the audio file below while promoting his charity basketball game on April 2 at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. "It looks different when he runs. It's pretty crazy."
Wallace has taken a lot of heat from critics since he left the Pittsburgh Steelers and signed a blockbuster deal with the Miami Dolphins in 2013. He admits he didn't live up to his contract in his two years in Miami and one in Minnesota.
With the Steelers, Wallace averaged 17.5 yards per catch. It fell to 12.5 yards per catch over the next three years after he left Pittsburgh.
After signing with the Ravens, Wallace told the media that he'd bounce back with quarterback Joe Flacco, whose specialty is the deep ball. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater didn't necessarily fit Wallace's skill set.
Wallace promised he'd "have the last laugh" and Smith doesn't disagree.
"Mike's still a beast. He's going to love it," Torrey Smith said. "I think a lot of people, based on how it's been for [Wallace] the last couple of years, think that he's lost a step or that he's still not good at what he does. But I mean, he's still fast as ever."
"The other quarterbacks, that wasn't really their specialty," Torrey Smith said. "They're solid guys, but that wasn't what they do. Joe can throw the deep ball – that's what he does, amongst other things. But he can throw the deep ball. It's a perfect match for him."
Smith sees the new receiving corps mirroring the unit he was on during the 2012 championship run.
The Ravens will boast two speedsters with Wallace and 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman, a la Smith and Jacoby Jones. They'll have a nasty veteran with Steve Smith Sr. (see Anquan Boldin), and a reliable tight end in Ben Watson like they had with Dennis Pitta. Baltimore has an extra bullet in the chamber this year with Kamar Aiken.
It's a formula that worked successfully before, and Smith thinks it will work again.
Wallace admitted last week that he was envious of all the deep balls thrown Smith's way when he was paired with Flacco. If things turn out according to plan, perhaps it will be Smith who is envious of Wallace this time around.
"Even the year we went to the Super Bowl, myself on the outside and Jacoby [Jones], put Anquan [Boldin] in the slot, it creates tougher matchups," Smith said." I think they signed Ben [Watson] too, so Ben's going to have probably the best year of his career. It's going to be a big change in the offense, but I think they definitely made some positive moves."
Ravens Have Cap Flexibility To Make More Moves
Most of the top free agents have been plucked from the market, but there are still plenty of contributors out there and the Ravens have (or can have) the cap room to make some moves.
The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reminds us that the Ravens could have even more cash if they were to release either left tackle Eugene Monroe or tight end Dennis Pitta. That should provide more than enough flexibility to address what are still believed to be the Ravens top-three needs: left tackle, pass rusher and cornerback.
"T]here are still [plenty of players available and many want jobs soon before teams turn to the draft to fill their needs," Zrebiec wrote. "Many agents will also be in attendance [at the owners meetings] this week for face-to-face negotiations with executives.
"There is more quantity than quality available at those spots, and the Ravens would also like to keep alive their chances of getting a compensatory selection for the loss of offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele. That would mean avoiding signing any true unrestricted free agents."
Interesting To See If Ravens Get In Ryan Clady Mix
Yesterday, we looked into speculation surrounding the Ravens sniffing around a Joe Thomas trade. The idea was floated out there by Jason La Canfora given the Ravens' situation with oft-injured Eugene Monroe, but he deemed a trade "highly doubtful" as the Browns would loathe moving a nine-time Pro Bowler to a division rival.
But Zrebiec sees another trade the Ravens could potentially explore while at owners meetings.
"With the Ravens, it doesn't appear that any deals are imminent, but the team did acquire center Jeremy Zuttah from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the meetings two years ago in Orlando," Zrebiec wrote. "There is another offensive lineman, Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady, available in the trade market. With questions surrounding Monroe, it will be interesting to see if the Ravens get in the mix."
The Broncos have spent the last week trying to trade Clady, according to ESPN, after signing tackles Donald Stephenson and Russell Okung. Denver is very tight against the salary cap, and moving Clady would create a reported $8.9 million worth of space.
Clady is a four-time Pro Bowl tackle and successfully protected Peyton Manning on the Broncos Super Bowl 50 run.
"If they cannot trade Clady, the Broncos are expected to release him," wrote ESPN's Jeff Legwold.
Ravens In China?
Well, here's an interesting development at owners meetings … the NFL wants to go to China?
The NFL wants to continue to expand its global brand after playing games in London and Mexico. According to ESPN, the league is actually considering more than a half-dozen countries, including China, Germany and Brazil.
China would represent the longest trek.
It wouldn't surprise me if the Ravens were one of the teams that expressed interest in China … as long as it counted as an away game. Owner Steve Bisciotti is already on record saying he'd love to play in London.
"I would absolutely love going to London," Bisciotti said during a conference call with Ravens PSL owners last year. "I think it would be great. Hopefully it would be the time of year that we could get a lot of fans over there, whether it be near Christmas or near Thanksgiving, or September when the weather is still beautiful, even in the U.K.
"I'm all for it. I think it would be a blast."
AFC North Update: Browns Interested in RGIII
You can pretty much rule out the Browns making a trade for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. But, they're still in the market for another signal caller and met with Robert Griffin III.
"We had a good visit (with Griffin III) and we'll continue to have some discussions internally and see where it goes,'' Browns Executive Vice President Sashi Brown told Cleveland.com at the owners meetings.
"It remains likely the Browns will draft a quarterback with the No. 2 pick, and they will likely have a choice between Carson Wentz of North Dakota St. and Jared Goff of Cal," wrote CSNMidatlantic.com's Clifton Brown.