Why the Baltimore Ravens can and probably should move on from Jimmy Smith

Cornerback Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Cornerback Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens would be losing a great player in their secondary, but this could be the time to move on from Jimmy Smith:

The Baltimore Ravens cornerback situation is getting interesting. Jimmy Smith is set to receive $9.5 million for the 2019 season. The Ravens saw Marlon Humphrey become the number one cornerback last season and his star is rising. Brandon Carr is coming off a very good season and Tavon Young earned an extension as a nickel cornerback. The Ravens have put themselves in a position to be able to live without Smith.

In an ideal world the Ravens can bring back Smith and Carr, asking Smith to take a pay cut. In a realistic world the Ravens see the out in Smith’s contract and ask Humphrey, Carr and Young to be their big three in the secondary. According to Spotrac.com cutting Smith would result in just over $6 million in dead money, but that’s more palatable than his high cap hit.

If the Ravens don’t overpay Mosley and do end up cutting ties with Smith, Eric DeCosta has a chance to get the books right for the future. Joe Flacco’s contract took a lot of cap space from the Ravens and they are almost done with that mess. Smith’s contract is another deal that limits the Ravens. The smart play is to get by without Smith in 2019.

While Smith is still a high caliber player, he’s 30 years old and the Ravens are undergoing a youth movement at the position. Carr would still be a source of veteran leadership but players like Humphrey, Young and Averrett are all young players.

The Ravens may want to draft another player at this position because you can never have enough defensive backs, and you need a future after Carr; however they can’t afford Smith at his price tag.

The fact that we’re even having this discussion speaks to what a home run of a pick that Humphrey was. The Ravens have three starting cornerbacks that could start on the outside for any team. That’s a luxury and with Carr’s dependability and smaller cap hit, Smith is not a necessity.

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If the Ravens were a more complete football team, they could take a less hard-line stance with Smith. The Ravens have an awful lot of work to do this offseason. They need to reconstruct the offensive line in between their two starting tackles. They need to figure out what they are doing at the safety positions. They need to add stars around Lamar Jackson and yet again retool the wide receiver position. The Ravens surely want to keep Smith, but they should look at the benefits of moving on.