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Steve Smith, Sr. was almost a New England Patriot

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*shudders*

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

A few weeks ago, when the Ravens and Steelers clashed on Thursday Night Football, Steelers legend Jerome Bettis went on the record to sing his praises of Steve Smith.

"He would have been an incredible Steeler," said Bettis. "He’s tough, no fear in him, no quit in him, he’s blue collar … Steve Smith would have fit perfectly."

Okay, so maybe Steve would've been a good Steeler. But the thought of Smith smack-talking the Ravens in the familiar black and gold makes me shudder.

But Smith in the legendary red white and blue? It almost happened, but you can thank inclement weather for Smith's tenure in Baltimore.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, "the Patriots reportedly coveted Smith when he tested free agency in March 2014". The appealing destination that is New England has lured in many veterans wanting to raise their first Lombardi before calling it quits, and it sure seemed that Smith might go to Brady and Belichick.

Luckily for Ravens fans, the weather had other ideas. Despite having a flight scheduled to Boston, weather delays at the airport allowed for Smith to settle his mind on Baltimore.

While Baltimore fans are certainly happy to have the legend on their team, it's a bittersweet situation for sure. I for one would love to see Smith ride off into the sunset with a legitimate contender and a ring on his finger. Unfortunately, the Ravens aren't exactly a "legitimate contender" currently.

Smith's closest encounter with that coveted Lombardi Trophy was in 2004, when his Carolina Panthers lost 32-29 to none other than the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII. In the following season, Carolina would lose in the conference championship. Since then, he hasn't come close.

Some savvy fans may want the Ravens to trade off Smith to a contender for some draft picks, but that's probably not happening. According to one member of the Ravens' organization, "even if the team is 0-15, Harbaugh will still be fighting and he will want Steve Smith fighting right by his side."

And I guess that's a good thing. Through thick and thin, win and loss, good or bad, or even downright awful play, there's no one I'd rather have on this team than Steve Smith. He's a warrior, and even in the twilight of his career, he won't go down without a fight.