Smith is excited about his new defensive teammates and once again playing in coach Mike Smith's scheme in 2016, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 13-year veteran, who topped 120 tackles in each of his last three seasons with the Ravens, is reunited with coach Mike Smith in Tampa after having played under his tutelage for four seasons during the latter's defensive coordinator tenure in Jacksonville in the mid-to-late 2000s. Smith's familiarity and past success in the scheme provides considerable reason for optimism, but his new teammates have him excited for the coming season as well. ""We've got a young roster that can play," he said. "We've got talent that nobody really might not know it just yet, but hopefully we'll prove that." The 34-year-old is particularly looking forward to playing alongside Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander in the linebacker corps in a defensive scheme he feels will be an ideal fit for their respectives skill sets. "They're both young," he said. "Lavonte's been around a few years, All-Pro, knows what he's doing. Kwon is young, but knowledgeable about the game and so eager to learn. Already they're asking so many questions. It's a defense they'll thrive in."
Smith signed a one-year contract with the Buccaneers on Thursday, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports reports. The veteran Smith will join Tampa Bay's young but talented linebacking corps on a one-year deal after being released by Baltimore earlier in the offseason to clear some cap space. Smith recorded 121 tackles and three sacks as a middle linebacker in the Ravens' 3-4 system last season, but he could be a replacement as the strong side backer with the Bucs releasing Bruce Carter this offseason. Despite the fact that he'll be 34 when the season gets underway, Smith still has decent coverage skills for a linebacker and could serve as a solid one-year stopgap in Tampa Bay.
Smith is paying a free agent visit to the Bucs on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports. The 14-year veteran, released by the Ravens on Mar. 3, played under new Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith in Jacksonville from 2004-2007 during part of the latter's stint as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator. An above-average run-stopping presence throughout his career, Smith amassed 372 tackles (196 solo), 12 tackles for loss, nine sacks, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 30 passes defensed and five interceptions over the last three seasons in Baltimore. The Bucs are seeking to re-stock their linebacker corps after the releases of Danny Lansanah and Bruce Carter earlier in the offseason.
Smith was released by the Ravens on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Smith is coming off of another strong season in which he recorded 121 combined tackles and 3.0 sacks, but he'll turn 34 later this month, and the Ravens have opted to cut ties as they'll look to get younger at the position. The move also saves Baltimore roughly $2.6 million. As a free agent, Smith figures to draw considerable interest, though it's unclear how many teams would be willing to offer him a full-time starting spot.
Smith finished 2015 with 121 tackles (72 solo), three sacks and an interception in 16 games. Smith and fellow inside linebacker C.J. Mosley both played nearly every defensive snap for a second straight season. Even with Smith turning 34 in May, the duo will likely return for a third consecutive year, providing some form of stability to an otherwise shaky defense. Smith has topped 120 tackles in each of his three seasons with the Ravens, after failing to do so even once during his nine years in Jacksonville.
|3||09/25||Los Angeles Rams||30|
|7||10/23||@San Francisco 49ers||15|
|11||11/20||@Kansas City Chiefs||4|
|13||12/04||@San Diego Chargers||8|
|14||12/11||New Orleans Saints||22|
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