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Filthy One-Handed Catches Like This One Show Why Torrey Smith Needs To Be Signed To An Extension ASAP

 

 

Big crowd of over 28,000 came out to M&T Bank to watch the Ravens’ first open practice last night and were treated to this gem of a grab by Torrey Smith. But what I love most about this catch is that it’s a perfect segway into something that’s been weighing on my mind recently. It’s time to sign Torrey Smith to a long-term extension before he ends up costing us too much.

 

We’ve gambled on not signing players to extensions in the past and lost miserably. While I maintain that the Flacco contract is nowhere near as bad as everyone makes it out to be, it’s still a not a good contract. Especially when the opportunity to sign him before the 2012 season for considerably less was there. But I digress. Torrey is on the books in 2014 for the last year of his 4 year, $3.39 rookie deal, which is a steal. He’s improved every season he’s been in the league, finishing with 65 catches and 1,128 yards last season. He may not be a dominant #1 type receiver who can control a game like Calvin Johnson, but he can certainly be an explosive weapon, as he’s finished in the top 5 in yds/rec the past two seasons.

 

But shouldn’t we wait to see how he performs in this new offense? That’s a great question. The answer is no, not at all. We shouldn’t wait a second. Torrey will be playing the “X” position in the offense, the same position that Andre Johnson played under Gary Kubiak in Houston. Now I’m not suggesting he’s Andre Johnson, but he will be leaned on heavily and his numbers will show it. Although the west coast offense features shorter routes and less of the deep balls that result in that high yds/rec figure, this offense will give Torrey more of an opportunity to use his exceptional ability after the catch. When Flacco and Torrey get the timing down on those quick slants, they’re going to move the sticks like clockwork.

 

The other big factor is having Steve Smith around. If there’s a knock on Torrey, it’s that he’s not physical enough, especially when it comes to attacking footballs thrown his way. He’s shown flashes at times (see his 2nd TD against Champ Bailey in 2012 playoffs), but still shies away from contact at times. Steve made a name for himself with his speed (like Torrey), but has stuck around so long by catching footballs in traffic and catching the ball at its highest point. He’s the perfect mentor for Torrey. Not to mention his presence in the slot this season will free Torrey up to run some of those deep routes when they choose to do so.

 

Torrey’s stock will never be lower than it is right now. You’ve got guys like Golden Tate (who had slightly lesser numbers in 2013) making $6 million a year on the open market. We can’t afford to have Smith thrive in this offense and command any more than that. Buy, buy, buy now. He’s a local guy who’s an even better person than he is a player. The Ravens need guys like Torrey Smith more than ever before. Lock him up.