Jimmy Smith's contract extension this afternoon came like a refreshing punch to the face. Praise the football gods.
Inside the Ravens Press Room At the Under Armour Performance Center, the 26-year-old hopped onto the podium and addressed the media after General Manger Ozzie Newsome introduced the re-signed cornerback who inked the four-year, $48 million contract extension.
"Okay thanks for coming on such a short notice. A lot of credit for this event goes to Drew Rosenhaus ... past three-four weeks, a lot of dialogue went on for an extension for Jimmy...Get the extension. Jimmy and Coach Harbaugh have been talking about it over the course of two-three weeks. Jimmy's commitment and want to be here, and that was an important role in this opportunity getting done. I think his best football is still ahead of him."
Quotables from Jimmy Smith:
"I want to thank the Ravens organization. I'm tremendously happy to be a Raven for another four or five years. Plan on getting [Super Bowl] rings."
"I felt like they wanted me here, they got me. It's all good...Now I can focus and getting back on the field."
On leadership: "It's something vocally I haven't gotten to do a lot, but this year you'll see a change."
"If I could play the whole season. I mean, I agree with him [Newsome]. I'm still learning the game...every year I'm growing. I feel like, for me, the sky's the limit. I always say that."
On when he felt like this was going to happen: "four or five days ago."
Smith acknowledged he knew where he stood, coming off injuries being one of the top-paid cornerbacks in the league wasn't his main concern.
"They drafted me, they trusted me. It made me feel some type of way. For this organization to stand behind me...it means a lot."
On importance of defensive tradition: "When you think of the Ravens, you think, defense. I'm a defensive player. I'm almost the cornerstone of this defense. That means everything. The defense won two Championships, so that means everything."
As Around the League's Chris Wesseling pointed out, the Ravens' long-term commitment is a sign that the cornerback is progressing well in his return from surgery. The cornerback only played eight games in 2014 after suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on October 26.
Welcome back, Jimmy!