Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith sent a message to Baltimore when he announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this month.

He said he was coming back to “where my heart is, and never left” and intends to be very active in the community. To celebrate his return and ongoing charitable efforts, the Orioles honored him Sunday as their “Birdland Hometown Hero” for the final home game of the season.

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Smith played four seasons with the Ravens after a stellar career at the University of Maryland, but left in 2015 to sign with the San Francisco 49ers. He also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Panthers before being released by Carolina on Sept. 1.

“When I left for San Francisco, I said then that my commitment to the city wouldn’t change because my jersey changed," Smith said. “That remained true then and it’s even more true now with us being back home and being a part of everything and not being tied to a team.

"So, even with the Ravens I’ll be back associated and tied in with them as family, so I’m looking forward to making a bigger and better impact in the city and bringing everyone together to make that happen.”

Smith took an interest in the issues facing Baltimore during his time in Baltimore and spent the 2013 offseason working as an intern in the office of Congressman Elijah Cummings, but said he isn’t interested in any official role in local politics.

“I have no desire to be a person that’s involved in politics in terms of directly being a figure in that way, but I definitely would love to bring people together," Smith said. "Also, mostly bringing people together to help and educate people about why it’s important for you to vote on the things that are actually offered by your leaders. Make sure that you hold them accountable to their word, not just in Baltimore, but everywhere.”

Though Smith made no explicit reference to President Trump’s critical tweets about Cummings, he did seem to be making reference to it when he talked about his time working in Cummings’ office and said “he’s done a great job.”

"The biggest thing I learned from interning with Congressman Cummings is that his office deals with different challenges,'' Smith said. “I still live in and vote for him in Howard County. So it’s interesting to me that he can take a lot of heat, but where I live in Howard County is one of the nicer areas and it’s tied into everything that is Baltimore City, as far was who you’re voting for and the things that he offers there.”

Smith said that he already was in touch with the Ravens when he announced his retirement and expects to be working with them on some community projects, but said the conversations did not touch on anything related too football.

Still, considering how many players have recently come back from other organizations to retire as Ravens, a similar event would appear likely for Smith, but he said he isn’t sure it’s necessary.

“For me, I feel like everyone knows what the deal is," he said. "I don’t feel like I need to do that, but my wife kind of wants me to and everyone who I keep running into in the city wants me to. I see no sense of urgency to do that, but if it happens, it would be cool. If not, everyone knows what Baltimore means to me. For me, what’s understood doesn’t have to be explained.”

On a lighter subject, Smith was asked what he thought about the upcoming football game between Maryland and Penn State on Friday night at Maryland Stadium.

“I can’t wait to see it,” he said. "You always expect to win. I look forward to watching our Terps next Friday. I think the crowd’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be a homecoming. [Former Maryland] Coach [Ralph] Friedgen is coming back. It’s Letterman’s Night so I know a lot of former Terps are going to be there.

“Even on the other sideline with [Penn State] Coach [James] Franklin. He was my offensive coordinator when I played there ... It’s going to be a really good game, but it’s going to be even more to the people who are involved in the program.”

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