Brandon Marshall was granted his release from the New York Jets Thursday night, but one former Raven knew it was coming.
Steve Smith Sr., who retired earlier this offseason, got a phone call from Marshall last week giving him a heads up and, presumably, asking some questions.
Smith is now a member of the NFL Network media attending the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, but he is also still serving as a resource for prospective free agents who could come to Baltimore, including Marshall.
"I think [Marshall] would be a good fit," Smith told Garrett Downing in Indianapolis.
"Actually, me and B. Marshall talked last week and he kind of gave me a heads up on some things. I talked to a lot of other guys as well. When they ask about coming to Baltimore, a lot of guys call me and say, 'Hey, what's your perspective?'"
Smith's departure has left a hole in the Ravens' receiving corps, and Baltimore General Manager Ozzie Newsome has been clear about his desire to fill that with a veteran, complementary receiver to the other talent the Ravens have in Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall, who will turn 33 later this month, seems to fit the bill. He runs good routes and can go up and make contested big plays down the field.
The six-time Pro Bowler has topped 1,000 receiving yards in eight of his 11 seasons, and is two years removed from a season with 109 receptions, 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns.
"I think he would be a great fit because he's a playmaker," Smith said. "At the end of the day, you need playmakers. You need a lot of horses in the stable and you can never have too many playmakers on one team or one side of the ball."
On the surface, Smith and Marshall have similar strong personalities. The Ravens and Head Coach John Harbaugh have gelled well with such veteran wideouts, including Derek Mason and Anquan Boldin.
But Marshall, and any free agent, can get a much more detailed scouting report from Smith, who often raved about his time in Baltimore. He helped recruit veteran free agents Eric Weddle and Mike Wallace to Baltimore last year.
"They call me because they know I'm going to shoot them straight," Smith said. "I'm not going to sell them; I'm going to give them the good and the bad. To be able to make a good decision, you have to know the pros and the cons."
It was only three years ago when Smith was released by the Carolina Panthers on March 13. He signed with the Ravens just* *24 hours later. It remains to be seen what Marshall will do, but Smith will be watching.