Safety Kendrick Lewis intercepts a pass and scores a touchdown during his time with the Texans, something the Ravens hope to see more of in 2015.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
By Max Buchdahl
Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome is known for his quiet offseasons. Rarely do the Ravens sign big-name, big-money free agents. Ozzie is known for having a keen eye when it comes to the draft, and for signing smaller-name free agents who ending up becoming key pieces to playoff runs.
This past-offseason has been no different for Newsome and the Ravens. Aside from a very successful draft, the team’s front office made just a few free agent signings to add to a team which is looking for its seventh playoff appearance in the last eight years.
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Despite the small amount of additions, there are still a few that stand out among the rest.
A fifth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Lewis played the first four seasons of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs before playing the 2014 season with the Houston Texans.
The safety played in all 16 games last year, making 52 tackles with two interceptions (including one that was returned for a touchdown), six pass deflections, one fumble recovery, and three forced fumbles.
In his career, Kendrick Lewis has a total of nine interceptions and six forced fumbles. Ravens fans are used to seeing big plays out of their free safety, and Lewis has proven that he can provide that excitement, especially for a defense that only had 11 interceptions last year (which was 25th in the NFL).
Lewis is known for his durability, having started 66 of the 69 games in which he has appeared over the course of his career. He’s expected to bring an important element to an improving Ravens defense.
The Ravens are very familiar with Arrington, as he has spent the last six seasons with the rival New England Patriots. He led the NFL with seven interceptions in 2011, but hasn’t had more than one in a year since then.
He started just four games in 2014, picking up four pass deflections and forcing a pair of fumbles. Arrington did score two touchdowns during the season, though, one on a blocked field goal which he returned to the house, and one on a fumble recovery.
Arrington signed a three-year deal with the Ravens in May, and is expected to provide depth at the cornerback position behind starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. While his playing time and productivity declined greatly in 2014 due to a number of secondary improvements made by the Patriots, his presence in Baltimore could signal a renaissance for the 28 year-old’s career.
WR Breshad Perriman
Perriman was selected with the 26th overall pick in the NFL Draft this past year, and was immediately thrust into a large role on the team’s receiving corps. With the departure of Torrey Smith, Perriman could start at wide receiver for the Ravens alongside Steve Smith, Jr. and Marlon Brown.
His first-round status places a lot of pressure and responsibility on the rookie, as he hopes to be a top target for quarterback Joe Flacco. Standing at 6’2 with 16 receiving touchdowns in college at the University of Central Florida, there’s little doubt he has the size and talent to become a favorite of Flacco’s.
There are large expectations that have been placed on Perriman, and he could prove to be a key offensive weapon for the Ravens for years to come.