Ravens sign Smith, one other rookie

OWINGS MILLS -- The latest contract details on wide receiver Marcus Smith's rookie deal along with two other rookie contract update

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens signed two fourth round draft picks to three-year contracts Friday, agreeing to a $1.51 million deal with wide receiver Marcus Smith and a $1.44 million pact with offensive tackle David Hale, according to scout.com's Adam Caplan.

Smith, a 6-foot-1, 215 pound wideout from New Mexico who caught 153 career passes for 2,073 yards and 13 touchdowns, received base salaries of $295,000 in 2008, $385,000 in 2009 and $470,000 in 2010 along with a $369,000 signing bonus. An All-Mountain West Conference selection as a senior, Smith finished with 3,749 career all-purpose yards.

"Marcus Smith is an inside guy, primarily a slot receiver," director of college scouting Eric DeCosta said in April when the Ravens drafted Smith. "He's got good size. He's a tough guy, blocks really well, catches the ball in traffic and is very physical. We felt like we wanted to bring a physical receiver and a bigger guy in here to compete for balls inside the numbers."

A 6-foot-6, 315-pounder from Weber State, Hale, 25, signed a three-year deal with identical base salaries to Smith in addition to a $300,000 signing bonus.

These two deals leave the Ravens with six remaining unsigned players with rookies, quarterbacks and injured veterans scheduled to report to training camp Monday in Westminster.

The Ravens are on the verge of signing sixth-round safety Haruki Nakamura, who has received a faxed contract offer and is expected to finalize his deal over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Ravens placed tight ends Quinn Sypniewski (torn anterior cruciate ligament) and Scott Kuhn on injured reserve. Sypniewski and Kuhn both suffered major knee injuries during minicamp practices, leaving depth at tight end extremely thin.

Sypniewski started a career-high nine games last season and registered a career-best 34 receptions for 246 yards and one touchdown. Kuhn is an undrafted rookie from Louisville.

Plus, the Ravens reached an injury settlement and cut inside linebacker Mike Smith, a former seventh-round draft pick from Texas Tech who has been struggling with shoulder injuries over the past two seasons ever since dislocating his shoulder in his first NFL start against the Tennessee Titans.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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