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Former Ravens and Terps WR Torrey Smith announces his retirement from the NFL

Former Ravens and Terps WR Torrey Smith announces his retirement from the NFL

Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith announced his retirement from the NFL after eight seasons on Friday.

The former Maryland Terrapins star announced he was walking away from football in an open letter 'Dear Football' via The Uninterrupted.

Smith reflected on the past 18 years, from the time he first put on a helmet to the last time he ever tied his cleats.

"From the very beginning, you were there for me," Smith said about football. "You were a safe haven that helped me block out all that I was dealing with at home. I was just a young kid with big dreams. I didn't know at the time that you would help pave the way for me to accomplish all of my goals. For that, I am forever grateful."

Smith, born and raised in Colonial Beach, Virginia, chose to attend school at the nearby University of Maryland where he became a star.

As a true freshman, Smith set an ACC single-season record in 2008 with 42 kickoffs for 1,089 yards. That record didn't last long, as he broke his own record the following season with 51 kickoff returns for 1,309 yards. Smith finished the 2009 season with 2,192 all-purpose yards, the second-most in ACC history behind on Clemson's CJ Spiller.

He was named to first-team All-ACC in 2010, his final season at Maryland.

The Ravens selected Smith with the No. 58 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, keeping the wide receiver close to home.

No. 82 spent four years with the Ravens, playing all 16 games in each season. In just his second season with the team, Smith played the No. 2 wide receiver role behind Anquan Boldin for the Super Bowl-winning Ravens.

Many remember his spectacular game earlier in the 2012 season against the Patriots. Smith played with a heavy heart, catching 6 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-30 victory after his brother passed away earlier that morning.

Following the Super Bowl season, Smith turned in the best year of his career in 2013, eclipsing 1,000 yards.

After his rookie contract expired in 2014, Smith signed a multi-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. He spent two years in the Bay Area before joining the Eagles in 2017, where he once again became a Super Bowl champion. Smith signed with the Panthers the following offseason and spent the 2018 season with them.

Multiple NFL players shared their support for Smith following his decision.

Congratulations to Smith on a great career.

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Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after three seasons in Baltimore

Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after three seasons in Baltimore

The Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after he spent three years in Baltimore, the team confirmed Friday.

The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was first with the news.

“This is the worst part of this business,” general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement released by the team. “Tony is the consummate teammate and someone who is respected by everyone for his leadership, determination, humility and toughness. He’s a friend to all and a true Raven.

"We know he’s going to beat this injury, and we will be cheering for him all along the way. We wish the very best to Tony and his family.”

 

 

The safety suffered a knee injury against the Steelers in Week 5 and was out for the remainder of the season. He was replaced by Chuck Clark, who shined in his new role and received a three-year contract extension on Monday as a result. 

The Ravens will save $7 million by releasing the 28-year-old safety. He originally had a cap hit of $11.65 million for the 2020 season and will have a dead cap hit of $4.65 million. 

Jefferson started each of the 35 games he played in Baltimore and registered a total of 174 tackles and two interceptions across his three seasons. He played nearly every defensive snap before his injury, only coming off the field during the blowout over the Dolphins in Week 1. 

He spent the first four seasons of his career in Arizona before he left for Baltimore and a four-year, 34 million dollar contract. 

According to overthecap.com, the Ravens will be left with a touch over $31 million in cap space after Jefferson’s release. In an offseason with Matthew Judon as a free agent, Jefferson’s release gives them a little bit more flexibility with their offseason plans. 

The Ravens now have Earl Thomas and Clark as the team’s two top safeties, but there are still questions that persist for the depth at that position with Jordan Richards, who recently signed a one-year contract extension, and DeShon Elliott as the team’s backups currently under contract. Brandon Carr, who played safety down the stretch for the team, has a team option for 2020. 

While the safety position certainly isn’t a need for the Ravens at this juncture, there will almost assuredly need to be some younger talent added to the position. 

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Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst suspended for violating NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy

Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst suspended for violating NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy

The Ravens will be without one of their backup offensive linemen to start the 2020 season, as James Hurst was suspended by the NFL for four games without pay after he violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Hurst made two starts and appeared in all 16 games for the Ravens last season. He played a total of 194 offensive snaps as a utility offensive lineman, predominantly used as a swing tackle and offensive guard.

Hurst, 28, who signed a four-year contract extension with the Ravens in 2018, is owed $8 million in base salary over the next two seasons, both of which carry a cap hit of $5.25 million.

He also has a dead cap hit of $2.5 million in 2020 and 1.25 in 2021, should the team decide to move on from the former North Carolina Tar Heel. The team would save 2.75 million dollars in 2020 should they release him.

Hurst has played 90 total games in his career in six years in the NFL, all of which were with the Ravens. 

The offensive line is slowly becoming more of a need for the Ravens with Hurst’s suspension. That’s in addition to Matt Skura’s recovery from a knee injury and the potential of Marshal Yanda’s retirement.

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