Baltimore Ravens veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith has played with one organization since being a first-round draft pick in 2011. He doesn't plan on ever donning a different NFL jersey.
"I absolutely will not play for another team," Smith told Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. "If the Ravens didn't re-sign me last year and I felt like I could still play, I probably would have still retired."
Smith forwent a chance at free agency to re-sign with the Ravens way back in December. At this stage of his career, considering a location change isn't in the cards for the soon-to-be 33-year-old. While other veterans might bounce around to close out their careers -- heck, even Tom Brady changed teams at 43 -- Smith has zero desire to plant new roots outside Baltimore.
"To me, this is family," he said. "I know these guys. I've known them for so long. They know me. It's hard to go to a new place, and you've got to introduce yourself, you've got to impress people. I don't want to do all that. I'm good. I'm comfortable being here. Financially, I could not play another down right now and live my life great. It's not necessarily a money thing. Obviously, money weighs into this, but it's not the deciding factor. If I retire, if the Ravens are done with me, then I'm done playing ball."
After the Ravens made Smith the No. 27 overall pick in 2011, he worked his way through an up-and-down start to his career to become a reliable starter on a shutdown Baltimore defense. Injuries always seemed to keep him from becoming a perennial Pro Bowl-level player, but he has been a key member of the Ravens secondary for years.
While Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and Tavon Young sit ahead of Smith on the depth chart, the veteran plays a key depth role as the top reserve in the Ravens' defensive backfield. With injuries always seeming to rear their head at inopportune moments, having a veteran like Smith to step in for spot starts -- as he did last season -- is a significant advantage for Baltimore.
Young players -- like third-round rookie Brandon Stephens and fifth-rounder Shaun Wade -- can also benefit from having Smith hang around for at least one more season.
"I love it when a guy asks me, 'Hey, O.G., what do you think about this?' It's just the respect that they have for me and the respect that I have for them," Smith said. "We don't have guys that are here like, 'I know everything.' The fact that our young guys are so respectful and so eager and willing to learn, it makes this role much easier for me to go through."
When the Ravens are done having Smith play that reserve role, the veteran CB will ride off into the Baltimore sunset.