With Ray Lewis retiring, Dannell Ellerbe signing with the Dolphins, and Rolando McClain lasting just a month in Baltimore before calling it a career in May, the addition of veteran linebacker Daryl Smith makes a lot of sense for the Ravens.
The two sides agreed on a one-year deal on Tuesday, the team announced. To make room on the roster, the Ravens waived linebacker Michael MacAdoo.
And Smith, who spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Jaguars, provides some much-needed depth at the position. A groin injury limited the former second-rounder out of Georgia Tech to just two games last season, but he recorded 107 tackles in 2011 (which tied a career high) that included eight passes defended.
As it stands in Baltimore, Jameel McClain is penciled in as the starter at inside linebacker but he still hasn't been cleared from a spinal cord contusion. And the team's second-round pick, Arthur Brown, won't be available until training camp while he recovers from sports hernia surgery.
As the Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel wrote Tuesday, Smith fared well in passing situations during the 2011 season, and the only other 4-3 linebacker to receive a higher overall grade from Pro Football Focus was the Broncos' Von Miller. While no one is expecting that type of production from Smith in '13, he'll have a chance to contribute to a defense that has annually been among the NFL's best, even if -- ironically -- that wasn't the case during last season's Super Bowl run.