L.J. Smith signs with the Ravens

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Free agent L.J. Smith has signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens. He takes the two-hour drive to his newest team after playing with the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

He reunited with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who was previously the Eagles special teams coach. Before signing with the Ravens, he visited the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons.

“I had the opportunity to be around L.J. for a number of years in Philadelphia, and there is a comfort level that we have with each other,” Harbaugh said.

Smith is a six-year veteran of the NFL, who has caught 231 passes for 2,525 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career. He’s played in 86 regular season games and four playoff games.

The 28-year-old was once the Eagles leading receiver with a career-high 61 receptions and 682 yards in 2005.

With the Ravens, he’s expected to back-up Todd Heap; while giving offensive coordinator Cam Cameron more options. The Ravens are expected to run more two tight end sets, because of Smith’s receiving skills.

The Eagles let Smith walk a year after giving him the team’s franchise tag. He’s been bothered by injuries the past two seasons in Philadelphia.

When he was healthy, he was a durable player and had at least 50 receptions in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006.

Last season, he had 37 receptions for 298 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games. In 2007, he had 22 receptions for 236 yards and a touchdown.

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