Ravens sign CB Jimmy Smith to one-year extension worth up to $5 million

The Baltimore Ravens will be keeping veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith around through the 2021 season after the two sides agreed to a one-year contract extension worth up to $5 million, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport per agent Drew Rosenhaus.

The oft-injured defensive back has been one of the best corners in the league when he has been healthy. He resigned with the Ravens this offseason on a one-year deal worth $3.5 million guaranteed with a max value of $6 million, per Over The Cap, after testing the free agency waters briefly.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the cap and team-friendly deal includes a signing bonus of $500,000, $2 million in fully garunteed base salary and $2.5 million in playtime incentives.

Smith was drafted 27th overall by Baltimore in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Colorado, spent the entire first decade of his career with the organization, and will now spend his 11th season in Charm City as well.

The 32-year old is having a great season despite missing four games this year due to injuries including the team’s last two. His availability for Sunday’s season finale bout with the Cincinnati Bengals is still up in the air but he is a key member of the Ravens’ elite secondary and his presence will be needed in the lineup for the team’s playoff run.

Smith has played a full 16-game regular season just twice in his career but his unique blend of size and athleticism makes him a versatile defensive chess piece that can cover, lockdown, or at least limit an opposing team’s top wide receiver or tight end.

Even though he has a checkered injury history, the Ravens have rewarded Smith with multiple contract extensions because they value him as both an elite defender as well as an integral piece in the fabric of their team that exemplifies what their culture is all about.

His role in the Defensive Coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale’s scheme has expanded this season to not only being the third corner but also playing some safety as a matchup coverman.

“Jimmy’s a pro’s pro,” Martindale said. “He’s going to do whatever he can do to get on the field. If he’s not on the field, that means he’s hurt. For a guy of his size, to be able to do the things he does, to play out there on the corner, on the island outside, it’s amazing. There’s no challenge he doesn’t like. We speak the same language. It’s like we’re family now, I’ve been here 10 years with him. I’m just really glad for both parties we were able to extend him.”

He has excelled in this diverse role when he has been on the field but the team might opt to restrict him to a more defined role and/or a limited snap count next year if they hope to preserve him for the entire season.

In 11 games this season, Smith has made five starts and recorded 27 total tackles including two for loss, a fumble recovery, a sack, a quarterback hit, and a pass deflection.

He currently allows just 50 percent of the passes thrown his way to be completed, allows just 6.6 yards per reception, and opposing quarterbacks have just a 57.4 passer rating when targeting him in coverage.

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