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WR Smith signs with Ravens

The SportsXchange

Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith, who was released by the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, did not spend much time as a free agent as he signed a three-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens on Friday, the team announced.

"We've added one of the top competitors in the NFL to the Ravens," team vice president Ozzie Newsome said in statement. "Steve is a proven player who has performed his best in big games and on the biggest stages like the playoffs and Super Bowl. He adds toughness to our offense, big-play ability and leadership to our team."

Baltimore needed to improve its offense after a disappointing 2013 season, and Smith should help.

Smith will turn 35 in May. He is coming off another productive season, with 64 receptions for 745 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. His numbers tailed off a bit from the previous two seasons, when he had over 1,100 receiving yards 2011 and again in 2012.

He has been named to the Pro Bowl five times, most recently in 2011.

"Steve is a Ravens-style football player," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "He always has been in our eyes, it's just that he's been playing for another team. We've respected and admired the way he plays, and we've always been challenged playing against him. I've known him ever since he came into the league, and we've always had a great relationship. The last two days, however, have given all of us with the Ravens an opportunity to get to know him on another level, and now, we're even more impressed. We're looking forward to working together and competing together."
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