NFL Free Agency: Ravens Get Help, Sign Daryl Smith


December 11, 2011; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Daryl Smith (52) before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have just signed linebacker Daryl Smith. The Rumor Mill has been swirling about this for a little over 24 hours now, and now we all know it was true. Smith, formerly a free agent, is the all time leading tackler for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has 10 NFL seasons under his belt, but only played 2 games last year due to a groin injury.

Smith is reportedly fully recovered from his injury and ready to go fro OTAs and training camp. If healthy, it is not difficult to see him being an immediate starter over Arthur Brown while Brown gets a late start thanks to sports hernia surgery a few weeks ago. Smith brings a fast game, not only against the run but in the passing side as well. He has ver good instincts and playmaking ability and has been toiling away on a bad roster for years. Smith also brings leadership. He was the emotionally leader of the Jags defense for years.

Smith has been very well coached throughout his career, mostly by linebacker guru Jack Del Rio. Del Rio bombed as a head coach in Jacksonville, but he has a long history of excellent linebacker coaching going back to his days with a young Ray Lewis in Baltimore. Smith is obviously no Ray Lewis(though he has worn 52 throughout his career…no word on what his new number will be), but there will never be anything that catches him napping on a football field. He is highly cerebral.

The financial terms of the deal are not yet known.