A day after news broke that Arizona Cardinals’ star pass-rusher Chandler Jones requested a trade, the Baltimore Ravens did bring in a new edge defender. However, it didn't come via trade and it wasn't the two-time All Pro as some pundits predicted and many fans of the team had hoped.
Instead, the team signed Chris Smith —
Ravens are signing former Raiders’ UFA defensive lineman Chris Smith to a one-year deal, per his agent @DrewJRosenhaus.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 26, 2021
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Ravens brought in a trio of veteran free agent edge rushers before ultimately deciding to sign journeyman defender.
The Ravens are working out a group of pass rushers:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 26, 2021
* DE Dion Jordan
* DE Chris Smith
* DE/OLB Shilique Calhoun
Smith was originally a fifth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars out of Arkansas in 2014 and most recently played for the Las Vegas Raiders — with short stints with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns sandwiched in-between. He has recorded just 9.5 sacks in 68 career games including the playoffs and has never recorded more than three in single season.
Following the exodus of both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency this offseason, the Ravens ability to apply consistent pressure off the edge in 2021 has been called into question.
The three players that the Ravens brought in for a workout have just 25.5 career sacks between them in nearly 200 games (182 to be exact). That woeful total is only 6.5 more than Jones’ single season career-high mark of 19 that he reached just a season ago in 2019.
None of them have even came close to recording double digit sacks in their respective careers whereas Jones has eclipsed 10 or more in six of his nine seasons and in every year that he’s played at least 15 games.
This signing by no means takes the Ravens out of the hunt to land Jones if and when he becomes available. Barring an injury to one of the roster “locks” at outside linebacker or an incredibly dominant showing in training camp/preseason, Smith should be considered a longshot to make the initial 53-man roster.