Your turn: Was Jimmy Smith's absence Tuesday a 'red flag?'

On Tuesday morning, 27 Ravens players, including a few rookies, showed up at Towson University for an informal workout organized by Derrick Mason. But as they ran sprints and played catch on the turf at Johnny Unitas Stadium, one player's absence was conspicuous to the throng of media in attendance.

Where was cornerback Jimmy Smith, the team's first-round draft pick?


Of course, Ray Lewis didn't show up for the workout. Neither did Ed Reed or Terrell Suggs. Other big-name players such as Haloti Ngata, Todd Heap and Willis McGahee were missing in action, too. Three other members of the 2011 draft class also missed the voluntary workout, but since they aren't lugging around the heavy character baggage that Smith has been, they all got a pass.

Not Smith, though. He was criticized on talk radio for not flying in for the workout. And former Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato, who now does a radio show on 105.7 The Fan with my buddy Ken Weinman, told The Baltimore Sun that Smith's absence was a "red flag."


"He should have been here," Cerrato said.

So why didn't Smith come?

"I talked to him last week, but there weren't as many defensive players as offensive players coming," fellow rookie Torrey Smith explained. "The guys he talked to said they weren't coming."

Nine defensive players attended Tuesday's workout, including three defensive backs: Domonique Foxworth, Josh Wilson and Haruki Nakamura, who all reside in the area.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Smith still lives in Los Angeles. He also has no contract and no insurance policy, which means he would be screwed if he blew out his knee in a non-contact drill (like Foxworth did at the start of training camp last summer). As Peter Schmuck pointed out in his column, these workouts are more about PR than TDs, so it would have been a nice gesture for Smith to show, but I don't think it's a big deal he didn't fly across the country for it.

Well, unless Ray Lewis was right when he said people will turn to crime without football. But I'm guessing Smith was sleeping or watching "Scarface" on Tuesday morning, and not out causing trouble somewhere. His past transgressions are certainly concerning, but missing a volunary workout is not.

Your turn: Was Jimmy Smith's absence from Tuesday's informal workout at Towson a "red flag" or no big deal?