Baltimore Ravens Sign Jimmy Smith to Contract Extension, Good Deal For Both Sides?
By Brett Foote
Dec 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) warms up prior to the game against the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
We’ve known for quite some time that the Baltimore Ravens were working on extending cornerback Jimmy Smith as he entered his contract year, yet it’s still a surprise that the team was able to lock up the young corner with a pretty substantial contract a week ahead of the draft.
The deal was first reported by the Ravens on Twitter, and the contract details were reported by Pro Football Focus, also via Twitter.
Considering the amount of the deal, it isn’t too surprising that Jimmy Smith was quick to sign on the dotted line rather than bet on himself in 2015. Worth an average of a hefty $12 million per year, the contract puts Smith in the upper echelon of cornerbacks in regards to pay. When healthy, Smith has been one of the top corners in the league, of course.
It’s a slightly risky move as Smith recovers from a Lisfranc injury that cut his 2014 season short, but he is still only 27 years old and has improved each of his four years in the league. Still, Smith has only appeared in all 16 games once in his four year career (2013).
The deal is by no means an overpay considering the current state of the market for cornerbacks. Players like Byron Maxwell (6 years, $63 million) and Brandon Flowers (4 years, $36.4 million) got similar deals this offseason in terms of per year average. And I’m guessing that Smith’s contract will wind up being a little backloaded to ease his cap hit over the first couple of years.
Ultimately, it’s a good deal for both sides. Smith is a rising star at the cornerback position who will hopefully sustain health. He is still young and hasn’t reached his peak yet. The Ravens are banking on him staying healthy and continuing to improve. And when the contract details are fully revealed, don’t be surprised if they have a way out if he doesn’t.
Next: Ravens Locking Up Free Agents
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