Ravens Sign Graham, Ayanbadejo, McClain, Considine
Sports Fan Insider
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens strengthened their defense and special teams by signing a two-year deal with cornerback Corey Graham, a three-year contract with Brendon Ayanbadejo, and a one-year deal with safety Sean Considine.
The team also re-signed starting inside linebacker Jameel McClain on Friday.
“It’s an honor to be back,” McClain said. “It’s a good time for me and my family right now. It’s just another step and a part of my journey. I’m fortunate to be able to do some more years with the Ravens and hopefully end it all here with this organization.”
Graham, a Pro Bowl special teamer for the Chicago Bears, visited the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings. Graham intercepted a career-high three passes with one forced fumble last season and should play a role in Baltimore’s secondary.
“I definitely see myself making an impact,” Graham said. “I study, I care about the way I play and I figure if I’m going to be doing special teams, I want to be the best special teams player in the league.”
In five seasons, Graham has 180 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The Bears’ fifth-round draft pick from New Hampshire, Graham’s 75 special-teams tackles rank third in the NFL since 2007.
Ayanbadejo, 35, finished second on the Ravens last season with nine special teams tackles. He has 173 career special teams tackles and has been selected to three Pro Bowls.
As a reserve inside linebacker, Ayanbadejo had 27 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks and one fumble recovery in 2011.
“I never really planned on going anywhere,” Ayanbadejo said. “I figured it would get done. I just didn’t know exactly when. Now that it’s here and done, it’s kind of anticlimactic.”
Considine will enter his eighth pro season. He played four games with Carolina and eight with Arizona last year. Considine also has played for Philadelphia and Jacksonville.
McClain, who had a free agent visit to the Denver Broncos, finished second on the team in tackles last season behind Pro Bowl middle linebacker Ray Lewis.
McClain, 26, had 81 tackles, one sack, an interception, five pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.
“He helps define what it means to be a Raven,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I just have so much respect for him. He’s a big part of who we are.”
For his career, McClain has 209 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and three fumble recoveries.
“I have a whole lot of room to grow,” McClain said. “I am nowhere near where I want to be. It’s a chip on my shoulder the size of a golden nugget.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)