Before going down with a foot injury early in the 2017 season, Brent Urban looked like an unstoppable force. This will be an under-the-radar signing for the Ravens that should be worth every penny.
For the Baltimore Ravens, the offensive side of the ball has dominated all offseason conversation thus far. Conversations have ranged from who they should add in free agency, to which players they should cut from their own roster. While that’s perfectly understandable, it’s good to see that they haven’t forgotten they might have a player or two like Brent Urban on the team already that might be worth keeping around.
Of all the Ravens players slated to hit the free agent market this offseason, there were only two players other than Brent Urban that I believe are also deserving of extensions: center Ryan Jensen and receiver Mike Wallace. While some could argue that the priority among those three should be Jensen, I’m glad to see Urban got his first.
First and foremost, Urban’s return will put an exclamation point on the Ravens’ depth on the defensive line. He was the only player on the defensive line that wasn’t under contract for the 2018 season before his new deal. Urban rejoins Brandon Williams, Carl Davis, Michael Pierce, Willie Henry, Bronson Kaufusi, and Chris Wormley on the line. That’s a pretty solid and beefy group. With health on his side, Urban should be one of the guys leading the attack.
Speaking of attack, it will also give the Ravens more of an interior pass-rush. The great Terrell Suggs can still get home off the edge. There’s no denying that but having a player that can create pressure up the middle should help immensely. If the team wants to lead the NFL in takeaways again in 2018, getting to the quarterback more is a must.
All in all, Ravens flock should be happy to see Brent Urban returning for 2018. While his health is always going to be of concern, when he is good to go, he’s out there blocking field-goals, plugging up the middle of the line, and creating pressure. Look for Urban to put together another really good offseason and preseason heading into what is hopefully a big year for him.