Ravens sign 7th round pick Mike Smith

OWINGS MILLS – Middle linebacker Mike Smith became the first member of the Baltimore Ravens' rookie draft class to sign his contract as the seventh-round pick agreed to a three-year pact worth over $950,000.

The former Texas Tech standout is slated to earn base salaries of $230,000 in 2004, $310,000 in 2005 and $385,000 in 2006, according to NFL Players Association figures.

Smith's signing bonus figure wasn't disclosed, but likely ranged between $30,000 and $40,000 based on a 5-percent increase from last year's batch of seventh-round contracts.

An All-Big 12 Conference honorable-mention selection, Smith was drafted with the 234th overall selection. The 6-foot-1, 234-pound native of Lubbock, Tex., registered 314 career tackles, 26 ½ for losses, seven sacks and two interceptions in 45 starts for the Red Raiders.

Smith is expected to compete for a spot on special teams, or possibly wind up on the practice squad.

When the Ravens drafted Smith in April, director of college scouting Eric DeCosta lauded him for his instincts, tackling ability and football temperament.

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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