Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Baltimore's corners in 2013
By Tim Kavanagh
At some point, the Baltimore Ravens probably thought that their CB starting lineup would consist of veteran Lardarius Webb on one side, with 2011 first-round pick Jimmy Smith on the other. Unfortunately, injuries to both derailed that train of thought, so the starting outside pair on this year's iteration of the team consisted of Cary Williams and former special teams ace Corey Graham. What's the outlook for 2013?
Williams may be gone by the time the preseason rolls around, as he's hitting free agency, and it's unclear how high of a priority the Ravens place on re-signing him given their cap situation. Webb should be back in action, however, so that's one spot taken care of. As for the other side, there is some belief that Smith's strong play this postseason -- including two pivotal plays in the Super Bowl win -- could propel him to bigger things in future seasons.
"I'm sure it will be a springboard for Jimmy, but how does it get any bigger than the Super Bowl on the last drive?" Ravens HC John Harbaugh commented, via the Baltimore Sun. "I think he made the two plays at the end of the game to win the game. He played great. Jimmy has been practicing very well. ... He finally got healthy at the end of the year there. He was at his best in the last couple weeks. Jimmy is going to be, like we said all along, a great player in this league. I love him. He's really special."
In addition to Webb, Smith and Graham, the Ravens also have Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson under contract for next season, and may bolster the group with a rookie or bargain-priced free agent.