Smith on verge of signing with Baltimore

The Baltimore Ravens are on the verge of signing Philadelphia Eagles unrestricted free agent tight end L.J. Smith, barring any last-minute snags.

Smith remained in town overnight after visiting with team officials Thursday at the Ravens' training complex along with former St. Louis Rams free agent offensive tackle Orlando Pace.

A deal for Smith could be completed as soon as today after he completes his physical. He's expected to ultimately sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

Last season, Smith caught 37 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. In six seasons in Philadelphia, Smith has caught 231 career passes for 2,525 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Smith has also visited the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons.

A seven-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle and a former top overall pick from Ohio State, Pace was cut recently by the Rams.

Pace hasn't made it through an entire season without missing a game since 2005.

The 33-year-old started 14 games last season, but just had combined nine starts during the previous two seasons.

If signed, the 6-foot-7, 325-pounder could play right tackle for Baltimore since former University of Maryland lineman Jared Gaither is entrenched on the left side.

The Rams saved $6 million against the salary cap when they cut Pace.

It's unclear what sort of contract figure Pace is seeking. Pace's agent, Kennard McGuire, didn't return telephone calls.

NOTE: Hard-hitting University of Maryland cornerback Kevin Barnes is scheduled to work out for the Ravens on March 30. He had a private workout this week with the Denver Broncos.


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