After Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens released veteran linebacker Daryl Smith, Ozzie clearly informed the public this may not be the end of the line for Daryl as a Raven.
"While we are releasing Daryl, we are not closing the door on the possibility of him returning to the Ravens," Newsome stated. "He deserves an opportunity to see his market value at this time. With 'Buck', you're talking about one of the NFL's highest-quality people. We have been fortunate to have him with the Ravens, and his production has been outstanding."
John Harbaugh also praised the linebacker saying, "We have been blessed to have a person like Daryl Smith on our team. He has been a steady and intelligent player with grit. 'Buck' is a special individual who has become a friend. Everyone who has spent time with him understands what I'm talking about. His numbers speak for themselves."
Harbaugh isn't lying- since 2013 (when D. Smith joined Baltimore) he has recorded the most passes defended among all linebackers. He also racked up 371 tackles in the same period, good for fifth in the league.
It will be difficult to adjust, as Daryl took over signaling duties back in 2013 with the loss of Ray Lewis. Also, Daryl's presence clearly showed with C.J. Mosley early dominance. No doubt in my mind Daryl's coaching and side-by-side practice & training did he help to develop the young successor.
Daryl was getting more and more lost in coverage later on in this last season, but every single player in coverage couldn't handle a darned thing. Jimmy Smith and Will Hill were the only ones understanding pass defense.
If Daryl can't find the money, I surely do expect a fair offer from Oz & Eric, because the leadership alone could be something worth a roster spot.