OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- When the Baltimore Ravens signed wide receiver Steve Smith in free agency 10 months ago, the Ravens added a top target for quarterback Joe Flacco and kept him away from one of their biggest AFC rivals.
Smith decided to cancel his trip to the New England Patriots when he reached a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Ravens. The Patriots were so interested that coach Bill Belichick spoke to Smith while the wide receiver was on the way to the airport to take a flight to Baltimore.
As the Ravens prepare to play in New England for Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game, Smith was asked why he didn't make his free agent visit to the Patriots.
"I think flights were kind of ... they had a little bad weather," Smith said Wednesday. "And then also, this is my first time being a free agent, everything was new to me. I just went in there just not thinking about what was lined up and just taking one trip at a time and going with my gut."
Smith will be part of one of the top matchups in Saturday's game, when he is expected to line up across cornerback Darrelle Revis. He called Revis a great corner, saying "I don't think you get a one-year deal for $15 million [actually $12 million] for being a slouch."
Smith was asked if he enjoys when the "best goes against the best."
"I'm not sure if I'm the best. But it beats getting a third-string guy," Smith said. "I anticipate I have to be patient and understand he's going to make his plays and really that's it."
Revis is ranked as the fourth-best cornerback in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. He has as many interceptions (two) as touchdowns allowed this season, and he's broken up 14 passes.
"I respect the heck out of him," Smith said. "I don't anticipate any nonsense. It'll be a good, veteran game."