Baltimore Ravens: 3 Key Free Agent Signings Of The Past
The Ravens don’t usually make a big splash in free agency but they have been able to find solid additions throughout the years
The 2016 NFL regular season will be coming to an end this Sunday.
While teams will be fighting for playoff spots and division titles, there will be many meaningless games. Teams like the Browns and 49ers have checked out, but are in the race for the #1 draft pick. The Baltimore Ravens are not in that position, but they are out of the playoff picture.
They are forced to start looking towards next season. With next season comes rebuilding and free agency.
With free agency back in the conversation for many NFL teams, I thought I would take a look at the 3 best free agent signings the Ravens have made.
Aug 28, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; A Baltimore Ravens helmet sits on a box on the sidelines during the second half of their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
If you have followed Ravens football in the past 10 years, you know the impact that Derrick Mason made on the field.
Mason spent 8 seasons with the Tennessee Titans before joining the Ravens in 2005. Coming off of 4-1000 yard receiving seasons, he did not miss a beat. He played fantastic with the Ravens and caught for almost 6,000 yards in 5 seasons. Along with receiving yards, Mason added in 29 touchdowns.
What was special about his time with the Ravens was his durability. Derrick Mason was consistent for the Ravens. During his tenure in Baltimore, he did not miss a single regular season game. This kind of durability is one that many teams dream of for their players. He was able to be a security blanket to a young Joe Flacco.
While Matt Birk was not a flashy free agent signing, but he was definitely one of the best for the Ravens.
With the Vikings, Birk was a 2x All Pro and 6x Pro Bowler. Birk did not get voted to a Pro Bowl during his time with the Ravens, but many fans would disagree with that. He was a very solid addition to the team and was the glue that held the offensive line together. The 310 pound center had great chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco and was a key to his early success.
The Harvard graduate spent 5 seasons with the Ravens. During the 2013 season, he was able to achieve his first Super Bowl title. He signed a 3-year deal with the Ravens after the season, but retired shortly after.
During his time with the birds, Birk was active on and off of the football field. In 2011, he became the first Raven to win the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award. He was awarded this achievement for his community service and commitment off of the field.
Sharpe spent the later part of his career with the Baltimore Ravens. Although he only spent 2 seasons with the team, he still made a very big impact. He helped provide a veteran presence to the team and mentored a young Ray Lewis.
He caught for over 800 yards in both seasons and was able to find the end zone 7 times. The 2011 hall-of-fame inductee also helped the Ravens to a 35-7 Super Bowl win. He was one of Trent Dilfer’s favorite targets during the 2000 season. One of his most notable plays came in the AFC Championship during the Super Bowl run. Sharpe caught a pass on the Raven’s 4 yard line and took it 96 yards to the house. His touchdown helped secure a 16-3 win over the Oakland Raiders and got the Ravens to the Super Bowl.
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