The Baltimore Ravens are fortunate in 2016 to be getting an extra season out of Steve Smith. Smith had announced that 2015 would be his last—until he suffered a season-ending injury during the Ravens' eighth game of the season. So, instead of a ride off into the sunset, Smith has refused to let his career end and is working his way back for the 2016 campaign.
However, Smith's health remains a concern. Achilles surgery is no walk in the park, and neither the Ravens, nor Smith himself, are sure when exactly he'll be ready to go. Smith's only target is to be 100% by Week 1 and, regarding the preseason, he told CSN Mid-Atlantic, "just four games that don’t count, and the liability of injury at the senior citizen age that I am, I think probably staying out would be good.”
Smith was on pace for a huge season in 2015. At the time of his injury he had accrued almost 700 receiving yards in just under half a season. Smith for his career has eight 1000+ yard seasons and is just 39 catches short of 1000 for his career. Only 13 other players have reached that milestone. If Smith is able to reach this milestone, this season it would put him in elite company among NFL pass catchers.
There's a real likelihood that, if he can stay healthy and play a full season, it will be Smith's last in the NFL; the Ravens hope to send him out on top.