When wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. was released by the Carolina Panthers in March 2014 after playing his first 13 NFL seasons with the team, he spoke in a radio interview about embracing all that comes with the free-agent process.
"I'm going to get a few free dinners out of it at nice, expensive restaurants and see what it's like," Smith told Sirius XM's Bleacher Report Radio. "I want to enjoy and absorb this experience that, quite frankly, I will never experience again.''
Smith's foray into free agency lasted all of 24 hours. With his agent fielding interest from several teams, including the New England Patriots, Smith arrived in Baltimore on his first free-agent visit and never left. He signed a three-year deal with the Ravens, a development that postponed a tentatively planned visit with the Patriots and their head coach Bill Belichick.
Two years later, wide receiver Mike Wallace arrived at the Under Armour Performance Center, looking for a new football home after disappointing stints with the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings. A former Pittsburgh Steeler, Wallace had not been a big fan of the Ravens' organization.
However, by day's end, and after walking out of the team facility at one point to head to another free-agent visit, Wallace had agreed to a deal to join a team he once abhored.
The Ravens' reputation as closers in free agency is well-documented. General manager Ozzie Newsome and company will try and enhance it today by coming to an agreement on a deal with free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, a player the Ravens clearly covet.
Twenty-four hours earlier, it appeared to be a near certainty that Maclin would sign with the Buffalo Bills during his day-plus free agent visit with them and the Ravens would again come up short in their offseason-long quest to add another target for quarterback Joe Flacco.
However, Maclin left western New York late yesterday afternoon and headed to Baltimore to begin his visit with the Ravens. It started last night as Maclin joined several Ravens at safety Tony Jefferson's house to watch Game 3 of the NBA finals, won by the Golden State Warriors.
It continued this morning as Maclin is currently at the Ravens' facility, meeting with Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh and other coaches and team officials.
Smith, who is now an analyst for NFL Network, is also at the Ravens' facility and tweeted out a picture of him alongside Maclin.