We have harped on it ever since the 2013 NFL Draft concluded, but the Baltimore Ravens love signing undrafted free agents and have quite a track record at finding very productive players. Baltimore has continued to find these guys this year, but have given higher signing bonuses than normal.
Leading up to the draft, all you seemed to hear about was how deep of a draft this class was on talent, as that has been evident by the amount of undrafted free agents being snatched up, but in Baltimore is shows more evident by the signing bonuses the Ravens are giving out.
The following list of players are past Ravens undrafted rookie free agents: running back Priest Holmes ($2,000 signing bonus in 1997), center Mike Flynn (no signing bonus in 1997), linebacker Bart Scott ($500 in 2002), linebacker Jameel McClain ($3,000 in 2008), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe ($2,000 in 2009) and kicker Justin Tucker (no signing bonus). This is quite an impressive list of key contributors for the Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore, as you can see by the list of some of the previous Ravens undrafted free agents, traditionally does not spend a lot in signing bonuses for these players.
2013 has been a little different for the Ravens, however, as they have handed out some signing bonuses in the five digit range. Former Colorado defensive lineman Will Pericak received a signing bonus of $13,500, the highest signing bonus for the Ravens' undrafted rookies and one of the highest bonuses among all undrafted free agents. Pericak 6-foot-3, 296-pound defensive lineman had 207 career tackles for Colorado, 19 for losses, 7 1/2 sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks. The greatest part of that stat line is that he did all that despite being diagnosed in high school with Type 1 Diabetes.
The Ravens did not stop there though, as they gave $10,000 signing bonuses to both Memphis offensive tackle Jordan Devey and Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg, while giving Tennessee State offensive tackle Rogers Gaines a $9,000 bonus.
Balitmore, and GM Ozzie Newsome have shown that they have the skill and ability to find these undrafted players and get themselves a contributor for their football team, so only time will tell if these bigger than normal signing bonuses pan out and produce well known Ravens.
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