Ravens linebacker and former Dougherty star Daryl Smith reached a four-year, $16.1 million deal with Baltimore on Friday, his 32nd birthday. (File photo)
BALTIMORE -- Happy birthday, Daryl Smith.
On his 32nd birthday Friday, the Albany native and former Dougherty standout signed a four-year, $16.1 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
It was a landmark day for the star middle linebacker, who was considered a top priority for Baltimore to re-sign this offseason.
''I'm really just fired up. I knew I wanted to be back and I'm happy we could come to an agreement so I could get back in there for four years,'' he said. "Just the organization as a whole is really first class with everything they do. I love my teammates, the coaches are great coaches.''
Smith had 123 tackles and established career highs with five sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and a team-record 19 pass breakups in his first year with the Ravens in 2013.
Smith also returned an interception 37 yards for a game-changing touchdown in a win over the Houston Texans. It was his first career TD.
"There are a lot of smiles around the building (Friday) after we got a commitment from Daryl Smith to stay a Raven," president Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. "He fills a need for us at a high level. Just look at his production last season, plus he gave us leadership and maturity. He's tough, he's consistent, he's intelligent, and he brings his lunch pail to work every day."
Smith, a Georgia Tech grad, spent the first nine seasons of his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who selected him in the second round of the 2004 draft and is the franchise's all-time leading tackler with 1,096. He averaged 103 tackles per year in 2009-11 but has not made a Pro Bowl.
In 10 seasons, Smith has 1,219 tackles (789 solo), 26.5 sacks, 49 pass breakups, nine interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 142 games.