Ravens add defensive end on eve of veterans reporting for camp


With questions persisting about their pass rush entering training camp, the Ravens have added a veteran defensive end to the mix.

It’s just not one for which fans have been clamoring.

After reportedly working out a few edge options, Baltimore has agreed to a one-year deal with defensive end Chris Smith, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 29-year-old was most recently with the Las Vegas Raiders, appearing in eight games and collecting a sack, five tackles, and four quarterback hits last season.

A fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft out of Arkansas, Smith has also spent time with Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Carolina, collecting 9 1/2 sacks and 72 tackles in 68 career games. The 6-foot-1, 266-pound Smith played 41 of those contests with the Bengals and Browns from 2017-19, giving him extensive experience playing in the AFC North.

With former Pro Bowl edge defenders Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue as well as rotation member Jihad Ward departing via free agency in March, the Ravens have plenty of snaps to replace off the edge with 2021 first-round pick Odafe Oweh being the only notable addition at the position. Judon, Ngakoue, and Ward combined for 12 sacks and 32 quarterback hits last season, which is why many fans are still calling for a veteran addition such as four-time Pro Bowl selection Justin Houston after he visited with Baltimore in April.

The Ravens finished just 14th in the NFL in sacks with 39 last season despite blitzing a league-high 44.1% of the time, according to Pro Football Reference.