Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith had declared before this season that it would be his final year in the NFL. However, after a torn Achilles limited his season to just seven games, Smith announced today that he would in fact return to the Ravens for the 2016 season:
— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) December 30, 2015
Smith had initially signed a three-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent, which is perhaps an indication that he had planned to play in 2016 at a previous point in time. Smith’s 2016 cap hit of $4.16 million would be the same cap hit that he cost the Ravens this season.
Although Smith would only incur a relatively tiny cap hit if he were to be cut for 2016 ($1.16 million), he remains one of the Ravens’ very best options at wide receiver. Despite only playing in seven games this season, Smith remains second on the Ravens in receiving yards with 670, behind first-place Kamar Aiken (868 yards) and well ahead of third-place, tight end Crockett Gillmore (412 yards).
Smith is currently eleventh all-time in receiving yards, and could jump all the way to sixth place of all-time with a 1,000+ yard season in 2016. Only one previous wide receiver has compiled a 1,000-yard season in their age-37 season or later (Smith will be 37 next year): Jerry Rice, who accomplished the feat twice.