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Harbaugh leaves door open for Smith Sr., but thinks retirement plans are set

Harbaugh leaves door open for Smith Sr., but thinks retirement plans are set

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he would welcome wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. back for another season, but Smith had already indicated that he planned to retire.

“That is what he has told me,” Harbaugh said of Smith’s retirement plans. “I think he has pretty much told everybody that.

"If he wants to come back, he is welcome, absolutely. You like every good football player you can get, but I don't want to speak for Steve. He has had an unbelievably awesome career."

The subject of Smith’s status came up following Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Cowboys, when Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace said he would try to talk Smith out of retiring. Smith surpassed 1,000 catches for his career Sunday, during an outstanding performance with eight catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Asked if he would try to talk Smith out of retirement, Wallace said, “I’m going to try to, but I doubt if it’s going to work. Steve has his own mind…Steve’s crazy. Everybody knows it. I just know when he’s set on something, he’s set on it. I definitely will try. But right now, I’m just enjoying every day I get to spend with him.

“He’s a legendary player,” Wallace said. “I was just telling him after the game, ‘You can play a couple of more years if you want to.’ I think he’s done probably after this year. Sixteen years is a long time. If anybody can keep playing, it’s him. It’s just an honor to be on a team with him, every day to see the way he works, the way he carries himself. I love that guy to death. Wish I would’ve had more time with him. But when you have greatness around you, you just take whatever you can get, absorb whatever you can get from him. One thousand catches don’t come easy.’”

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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