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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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What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

The Ravens have a problem in the secondary; no one can stay healthy. 

Baltimore suffered season-ending injuries to Iman Marshall and Tavon Young at cornerback and Tony Jefferson and DeShon Elliott at safety. Cornerback Jimmy Smith hasn’t played since Week 1 with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and Maurice Canady currently has a hamstring injury, coach John Harbaugh said. 

So on Monday, the Ravens traded for cornerback Marcus Peters from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for linebacker Kenny Young and an undisclosed 2020 draft pick. 

Peters, 26, is in his fifth year as a pro and is in the final year of his rookie deal that is paying him just over $9 million against the cap this season. 

A true ballhawk, Peters has an NFL-best 24 interceptions since he entered the league in 2015 as a first round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Peters was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 and was a Second Team All-Pro that season. He was a First Team All-Pro a year later. 

With a host of injuries at cornerback and in the secondary the Ravens will likely use Peters right away opposite Marlon Humphrey, who has been one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks this season. Peters excels at turning the ball over, something safety Earl Thomas did in Seattle and a statistic in which the Ravens coaches have expressed a desire to improve.

The Ravens rank 13th in yards allowed per game, 30th in yards per play against and 25th in pass defense. Peters figures to help out in those departments.

Smith is expected to return sooner rather than later in the secondary, meaning the Ravens will have to find a way to get Humphrey, Peters, Smith and Brandon Carr on the field in a positive way.

And while Peters’ contract is up at the end of the season, the final 10 games could be a tryout to see how he fits into the team’s short-term and long-term plans. Should he impress, it’s not inconceivable the Ravens could re-sign him and make he, Humphrey and Young the team’s top three cornerbacks headed into the 2020 season.

If they don’t, they’ll be awarded a compensatory pick in 2021. As for what round, that will depend on how much Peters signs for. 

Either way, the move is an aggressive one to shore up a notable area of concern for the Ravens this season. It adds a cornerback who has had incredible success in his young career and adds a piece in the secondary to pair opposite Humphrey. 

The price wasn’t hefty, either. The Ravens moved on from Kenny Young, a linebacker who had fallen out of their plans, and a 2020 draft pick, one of many they possess next year. 

It’s a true low-risk, high-reward situation for a team that still thinks it can contend this season.

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6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

Marcus Peters is a Raven now. Baltimore made it official Tuesday when they sent linebacker Kenny Smith and a draft pick to the Rams for the two-time All-Pro.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Peters has plenty of career highlights. It's hard to narrow it down, but here are some of his best.

He's got a game-sealing pick-six on Monday Night Football against the Raiders. He was fined for his "celebration" as he entered the end zone, but at least he was having a good time.

His entrance into the end zone was not nearly as smooth on this pick-six. His path to the goal line was much more difficult and he had to leave the game after this big hit.

Back when he was still with the Kansas City Chiefs, he showed a knack for finding the ball, stripping it from Jamaal Charles, scooping it up and returning it for a touchdown to open the scoring on Monday Night Football against the Broncos.

He also spent a whole game mic'd up, which was genuinely entertaining.

Peters similarly just ripped the ball right out of Kelvin Benjamin's hands, though he didn't return this one for a touchdown.

Most importantly, he's got a competitive attitude.

The Ravens needed reinforcements in their secondary, and Peters and his highlight-reel plays are on the way to help.

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