The Ravens signed former Eagles tight end L.J. Smith this week to a one-year contract reportedly worth $1.5-million. Smith had visited the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons but couldn’t agree to terms with either team despite their obvious needs at the position.
The 2003 2nd round pick has solid receiving skills but never truly developed the way the Eagles expected he would. In six seasons, he has topped 600 yards only twice and has been injury prone over the last two seasons. He had 37 receptions for 298 yards and three scores in 2008 but lost his starting position by season’s end to Brent Celek.
Baltimore benefits from Smith’s inability to secure a long term deal and picks up a veteran backup for Todd Heap, who has had his own injury issues over the last few seasons and was ineffective in 2008, despite not missing a game.
Fantasy Football Impact
All indications are that Heap and Smith will share the tight end workload in Baltimore. In anything other than deep leagues, knock both Heap and Smith off your draft list. The tight end’s main role in the Baltimore offense is to block so even without Smith’s signing, Heap would barely crack the top 20. Unless one of the two suffers an injury in the preseason, both players are waiver wire fodder for fantasy purposes in 2009.