Steve Smith won't be a Charger.

He may have been close.

General Manager Tom Telesco made an aggressive play for Smith after the former Panthers wide receiver officially became a free agent Thursday afternoon. Smith, who signed with the Ravens on Friday, told Baltimore media that the Chargers offered him a contract. The Redskins, Seahawks and Patriots also expressed interest, he said.

A team source confirmed the offer.

Smith reportedly joined the Ravens on a three-year, $11 million deal with a $3.5 million signing bonus. He'll 35 in May.

Coach Mike McCoy and wide receivers coach Fred Graves worked with Smith in Carolina for a combined 10 of his 13 NFL seasons. Each served as Smith's position coach for a time, McCoy during his 2001 rookie year and Graves from 2011 to 2012. McCoy held various other positions on the Panthers' coaching staff from 2002 to 2008.

Last year, Smith caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns. His 11.6 average yards per reception and 3.2 average yards after the catch were career lows.

The Chargers also were linked to former Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. He visited the Colts on Friday, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million plus incentives.

San Diego could use another wide receiver.

It lacked a consistent deep threat in 2013. Keenan Allen, Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown are the only Chargers wide receivers to catch a pass last season who are sure to return in 2014. Malcom Floyd, under contract, hopes to play an 11th NFL season, but his recovery from a September neck injury has been slow.