When Steve Smith hit the open market Thursday afternoon, his phone was buzzing with teams interested in acquiring his services.
Multiple teams reached out, and he had a chance to team up with some of the best quarterbacks in the league. Future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and reigning Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson were two of the quarterbacks Smith could have joined.
But instead he chose the Ravens, and working with Joe Flacco.
"I've watched him throw a lot of dimes against us when I was in Carolina," Smith said about Flacco. "I've watched him do a lot of great things, in the playoffs, in the postseason. Now I get to be part of that."
Working with the Super Bowl XLVII MVP has been a draw for Smith and some of the Ravens' recent free agent signings. Tight end Dennis Pitta and wide receiver Jacoby Jones both said Flacco was a factor in their decision.
Smith has yet to meet Flacco, but he has seen the Ravens quarterback put up some impressive performances in person. Flacco threw for 301 yards and a touchdown during a lopsided victory over Carolina in 2010, and the Ravens also squared off with Panthers in the preseason.
Now Smith will have a chance to be on the receiving end of Flacco's passes.
"I'm excited about catching passes, and I'm excited about learning a new offense," Smith said. "So whether [he's won] a Super Bowl or not, he's a top-notch quarterback, and I look forward to growing and learning."
The partnership is expected to be mutually beneficial, as Smith gives Flacco something he missed last season. The 14-year veteran is a hard-nosed player that can beat defenses and make difficult catches in traffic.
The Ravens came into the offseason looking to add a reliable sure-handed receiver, and Smith fits that bill perfectly. Smith and Head Coach John Harbaugh tried to call Flacco during his visit Friday afternoon, but were unable to reach him. Smith expects to talk with Flacco in the coming days so* *the two can start building the chemistry that will be key for the Ravens in 2014.