Steve Bisciotti knocks Mike Wallace deal, says Ravens have “to find a number” that works to re-sign Torrey Smith
As a young, fast, productive wide receiver, Baltimore’s Torrey Smith is well-positioned entering unrestricted free agency.
And the Ravens seem to believe it will not be easy to keep him.
At a press conference Tuesday, Ravens owner Steve Biscotti indicated the club would not be able to get into an expensive bidding war for the 26-year-old Smith. His answer came in response to a question regarding the Ravens’ philosophy of setting a value for a player and being willing to walk away if needed.
“I mean, let’s be frank — do you hope that Torrey doesn’t break the bank out in the open market so we can get him for our number? You know, that’s a hard thing to say. I care about the kid,” Bisciotti said. “I want him to maximize his earnings.
“At the same time, the more successful he is at doing that, the less [success] we have in retaining him. I mean, I don’t like to stand up here and say I’m rooting against the guy, but we’ve got to find a number, and some of the numbers that are thrown out there, quite frankly, we can’t match. We don’t have that kind of [salary-cap] space.”
Smith has hauled in 213 passes for 3,591 yards and 30 touchdowns since joining Baltimore in 2011. He ranks 22nd among PFT’s top 100 free agents. Smith has not missed a game in four NFL seasons, and he caught a career-high 11 TDs in 2014.
Bisciotti indicated the salary cap, coupled with the Ravens’ willingness to spend, sometimes leaves Baltimore with tough decisions.
The Ravens’ owner also took the opportunity to tweak some other clubs.
“There’s a lot of teams out there that don’t spend to the cap, and we do,” Bisciotti said. “I’m always envious of those teams right about this time of the year, and then they’re envious of me when we’re in the playoffs. So we’re going to keep doing what we do the way we do it, and that precludes us sometimes from capitalizing on paying certain guys like [Browns outside linebacker Paul] Kruger and [Dolphins linebacker Dannell] Ellerbe and all those guys.”
Later, Bisciotti suggested the Dolphins paid too much to sign then-Steelers wideout Mike Wallace two years ago, which could indicate the Ravens aren’t willing to pay Smith that much.
“Mike Wallace got 10 million. I don’t think anybody thinks that that was a good deal,” Bisciotti said. “So there’s always a team that has lots of money that wants to bring in playmakers, and those guys are going to get those deals, and we’re just going to have to take it on the chin and move on.”