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Baltimore quickly signs longtime Carolina star

About 24 hours after the Panthers released him, receiver Steve Smith signed a three-year deal with the Ravens on Friday.

"This has been an organization with a history of giving veteran players a chance and meshing them with younger players," said Smith, 34, who spent 13 seasons with Carolina.

Smith said he had an offer from San Diego and canceled a visit with New England set for Monday. He added Washington and Seattle also were interested.

One reason he chose Baltimore, he said, is it's about a one-hour flight to Charlotte, N.C., where his family will remain.

"We have added one of the top competitors in the NFL," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. "He's a proven player who has performed the best in big games and biggest situations. He adds toughness to our offense."

The Ravens host the Panthers in 2014. Wednesday, Smith told a Charlotte radio station fans will need to wear goggles because there will "blood and guts everywhere" on the field when he plays the Panthers.

He backed off those comments Friday, saying it was a tongue-in-cheek statement. "It wasn't that I don't like the organization," Smith said. "I have nothing but respect. My teammates have been telling how much they are going to miss me. I can't be upset at an organization that gave me everything and allowed me to display for other teams that I can still play."

Bills: Former Florida Gator linebacker Brandon Spikes signed, the Associated Press reported. Neither he nor the team was available for comment. Spikes spent his first four seasons with the Patriots.

Cowboys: A deal for ex-Saints linebacker and special teams standout Will Herring was called off. Dallas' website said only it was "a mutual parting of the ways that had to do with the language of the contract."

Eagles: Running back Darren Sproles, acquired from the Saints this week, signed a two-year extension through 2016. He will make $3.5 million in 2014, which would have been the final year of his deal. Terms of the extension were not disclosed.

Redskins: Center Will Montgomery, who started every game over the past three seasons, was released after he failed a physical. His injury wasn't disclosed.

Titans: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started nine games last season for the injured Jake Locker, said he has been released. The Titans, who signed Charlie Whitehurst on Thursday, did not comment.

Bengals extend Lewis: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension through the 2015 season. He is 90-85-1 in 11 seasons (the 90 wins being a franchise record). "I'm blessed to continue to do a job I love here in Cincinnati," he said.

Kelly cancer back: Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's cancer has returned. Doctors said it was found when the former Bills and University of Miami star had follow-up testing after having oral surgery to remove cancerous cells last year. They added head and neck cancer specialists are determining a course of treatment.

Baltimore quickly signs longtime Carolina star 03/14/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:11am]
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