With the possible exception of his ripe age of 35, the Baltimore Ravens weren’t really taking any big chances when they signed wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. in 2014.
Over his prior, 13-year career with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was a huge asset for that team, amassing 12,197 receiving yards for the best total in the franchise’s history. He also set all-time Panthers’ records for receiving touchdowns, with 67 over 13 seasons, and overall receptions with 836.
2014, his first year with the Ravens, is shaping up to be another solid year for the reliable Smith, with four touchdowns and 728 yards in 10 games.
Smith has made the Pro Bowl five times. After breaking his leg in 2004 against the Green Bay Packers, Smith returned in 2005 to post his strongest season ever, leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, an accomplished that got him recognized as the Pro Football Writers Association Comeback Player of the Year.
Also in 2005, Smith’s teammates voted for him to receive the Ed Block Courage Award, an annual honor bestowed on one player from each NFL team. The award originated in Baltimore, and is given by the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, which raises awareness of child abuse and neglect.
Smith is currently under a three-year contract with the Ravens.
In an August interview with Greg Bedard of the MMQB (mmqb.si.com), “It Makes Me Feel Very Uncomfortable,” Smith explained the name change on the back of his jersey, from “Smith” to “Smith Sr.”
“When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a junior,” Smith told MMQB, adding that he and his wife’s third son is “Stevonne Smith Jr.”
In recent games, another Smith, Torrey Smith (unrelated) had supplanted Steve Smith’s status as primary wide receiver. But on Monday in New Orleans, Steve Smith managed another standout performance, making four receptions for 87 yards, including a touchdown.
The 35-year-old also tangled with Saints’ safety Kenny Vaccaro, proving he has plenty of scrap left.