They say this is the quiet part of the NFL season when nobody pays attention to the league and everybody involved with it is on vacation. Well, that's not entirely true, or at least not for your Baltimore Ravens as they keep doing their work and scheduling free-agent visits for the upcoming days and weeks.
According to sources talking to NFL insider Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Ravens will host veteran free agent and former Jacksonville Jaguars EDGE Dawuane Smoot "early next week."
Rapoport reported the news on Wednesday, July 19, adding that Baltimore is "a strong option" to land the 28-year-old rusher out of Illinois. Smoot is coming off a season in which he played 15 games for the Jaguars having spent six years in Jacksonville after getting selected with the 68th-overall pick in 2017.
Although Smoot tore his Achilles last year, the truth is that he's been a stalwart playing weekly for the first five seasons (and pretty much the whole six he's been a pro) of his career. Smoot has appeared in at least 15 games in five of those six years, and he still played eight matches back in 2018 when he missed half of that year.
Had it not been for his late-season injury, Smoot would have already been signed as a free agent instead of being available in the open market. The Ravens, known for trying to get the tiniest of edges over their rivals with this type of shredded move, are now trying to pounce on such a bargain opportunity.
Baltimore is expected to deploy youngsters David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh on the edges of the middle D-line flanking Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen as the interior linebackers.
However, the Ravens are exploring the possibility of bolstering their defensive unit by adding some veterans such as Justin Houston and Smoot, and that's something they should actually do to avoid falling short of warm bodies on the ready in the event of injuries popping out of nowhere through the season.
Adding Houston would be great, and getting an injured Smoot would be good news too. According to Rapoport, even though Smoot tore his Achilles last December (a tough-to-rehab injury) the six-year veteran is "doing well in his rehab and prepping to get back on the field," which should be all Baltimore needs to hear in order to ink him to a one- or two-year deal this summer.