The Baltimore Ravens released LB Daryl Smith, general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced Thursday afternoon. Newsome also said the team will not pick up an option for DE Chris Canty to return in 2016.
"While we are releasing Daryl, we are not closing the door on the possibility of him returning to the Ravens," Newsome stated. "He deserves an opportunity to see his market value at this time. With 'Buck,' you're talking about one of the NFL's highest-quality people. We have been fortunate to have him with the Ravens, and his production has been outstanding."
Smith is a 12-year NFL veteran who spent the past three seasons (2013-15) with Baltimore, starting all 48 games. In 2015, he led the team and ranked 10th in the league with 121 tackles (72 solo), adding three sacks, one interception and three passes defensed.
Smith is one of just two NFL players (Lavonte David) to post at least 350 tackles, five sacks, five interceptions and four forced fumbles over the past three years. Additionally, with 30.5 sacks and 11 interceptions, he is one of four active NFL players (Lawrence Timmons, Julius Peppers and Karlos Dansby) with at least 30 sacks and 10 thefts in a career.
Since Smith joined the Ravens in 2013, his 31 passes defensed rank as the NFL's most among all linebackers, while his 371 tackles during the same period stand fifth in the league.
"We have been blessed to have a person like Daryl Smith on our team," head coach John Harbaugh stated. "He has been a steady and intelligent player with grit. 'Buck' is a special individual who has become a friend. Everyone who has spent time with him understands what I'm talking about. His numbers speak for themselves."
Canty, an 11-year NFL veteran, joined the Ravens in 2013 and posted 83 tackles (44 solo), 3.5 sacks, seven passes defensed and three forced fumbles in 35 games (33 starts). In 2015, he tallied 20 stops (11 solo), one sack and one pass defensed in nine contests.
"I called Chris to thank him for what he has done for the Ravens," Newsome said. "He has been an impactful player for us on and off the field."
"Chris was a leader for our young defensive line, especially last season," Harbaugh added. "For three years, he has been a reliable force on the field, in our locker room and in our community. He has been highly-productive as a player, and even better as a leader."