The New England Patriots were expecting to meet with free-agent wide receiver Steve Smith this week, but the Baltimore Ravens were able to agree to a three-year contract before he could head to Foxboro.
How good a selling job did Ozzie Newsome & John Harbaugh do? Source says Steve Smith cancelled flight to New England to stay in Baltimore—
Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2014
Smith had a meeting set up with the Patriots tomorrow and at one point they were the favorites to sign him. Ravens convinced him not to go.—
Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) March 14, 2014
The Ravens weren’t the only team pursuing Smith. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reported that the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks had interest in addition to the Patriots.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Smith’s deal with the Ravens is worth “nearly” $12 million. The Patriots could have signed Smith for that price (around $4 million per year) because they are about $10 million under the salary cap after signing veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis.
As a result of Smith’s agreement with Baltimore, New England might step up its efforts to re-sign 27-year-old receiver Julian Edelman, who led the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns last season. Edelman was scheduled to meet with the San Francisco 49ers on Friday.