- Associated Press - Friday, March 14, 2014

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - The Ravens and linebacker Daryl Smith agreed on a four-year deal Friday that solidifies the middle of Baltimore’s defense.

The sides reached agreement on Smith’s 32nd birthday, and the middle linebacker appeared to consider the development to be a delightful present.

“I’m really just fired up. I knew I wanted to be back and I’m happy we could come to an agreement so I could get back in there for four years,” Smith said. “Just the organization as a whole is really first class with everything they do. I love my teammates, the coaches are great coaches.”

Smith started all 16 games for the Ravens in 2013 and led the team with 123 tackles. He also had a career-high 19 passes defensed, setting a Ravens record by a linebacker.

Signing the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Smith was a priority for the team during the offseason.

“There are a lot of smiles around the building today after we got a commitment from Daryl Smith to stay a Raven,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “He fills a need for us at a high level. … He’s tough, he’s consistent, he’s intelligent.”


Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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