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Last updated: March 14. 2014 11:57PM - 2481 Views
By David Ginsburg AP Sports Writer



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Steve Smith is eager to continue his NFL career in Baltimore, where he’s just a short flight from his permanent home in Charlotte.


The longtime Panthers standout wide receiver didn’t waste time finding a new home, signing a three-year contract with the Ravens about 24 hours after being released by Carolina.


The Ravens announced the signing of the 34-year-old Smith on Friday.


Smith was released by the Panthers after 13 seasons. He should provide a solid weapon for quarterback Joe Flacco.


“This has been an organization with a history of giving veteran players a chance and meshing them with younger players,” Smith said on a conference call Friday.


Smith arrived in Baltimore late Thursday night and negotiations and meetings continued into the early morning hours on Friday.


Smith said he had a contract offer from the San Diego Chargers and cancelled a visit with the New England Patriots scheduled for Monday. Smith added the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks also expressed interest.


Smith ranks 19th in the NFL in career receptions. He caught 64 passes for 746 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. Smith is Carolina’s all-time leader in receptions (836), yards receiving (12,197) and touchdowns (67).


In other moves Friday:


• Chicago agreed to a one-year contract with two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman. Tillman, 33, is coming off a season limited to eight games because of a torn right triceps.


• Eight-year veteran cornerback and rookie negotiator Cortland Finnegan found a new home in Miami after an injury-plagued 2013 with the Rams. Finnegan said he spoke with a lot of general managers and head coaches around the NFL, but his only free-agent visit was to Miami, and the 2008 All-Pro represented himself.


• Detroit re-signed tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who will get a $16 million, four-year contract with half the money guaranteed. He has 284 receptions for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns in five NFL seasons with the Lions.


• Green Bay re-signed defensive tackle B.J. Raji to anchor their defensive line. He started all 16 games last season for the Packers.


• Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick told The Associated Press on Friday, “You can say I’ve been released, yes” when asked if Tennessee had cut him. He started nine games for the Titans last season and went 217 of 350 for 2,454 yards with 14 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. The 31-year-old Fitzpatrick has thrown for 16,790 yards, 106 touchdowns and 93 interceptions in 85 career games.


The Titans also agreed to a multiyear deal with linebacker Wesley Woodyard, who spent the last six years with the Denver Broncos. During the 2012 season, Woodyard was the only player in the NFL with at least 100 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions.


• Linebacker Jameel McClain joined the Giants. He started 55 games for Baltimore and won a Super Bowl ring.


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