Baltimore Ravens: Top 15 free agent signings of all-time

Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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Tony Siragusa, Baltimore Ravens
Tony Siragusa, Baltimore Ravens. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport /

The Baltimore Ravens have done some incredible things since their 1996 inception; that is in large part due to their ability to make great free agent signings. It’s time to look at the top 15 free agent signings of all-time:

Before naming the Baltimore Ravens‘ top 15 free agents of all-time, we have to layout the criterion that making this elite company requires. First, the player has to be one that the Ravens acquired strictly through free agency.

Players like Anquan Boldin and Steve McNair, who were brought to Baltimore through trades will not be part of this list. Players who were re-signed by the Ravens after tasting free agency don’t count towards this list either. The Ravens almost lost Ray Lewis to free agency at one point, but to call him a free agent addition would be a rather disingenuous.

This list includes two players who were undrafted free agents. This is a look at free agency in general. Players who don’t get drafted have to have a team give them a chance. When a team signs a undrafted free agent that becomes a star, it is an impressive find. You can’t write the history of the Ravens without the two undrafted free agents on this list, so they absolutely count towards the top 15 free agent signings.

Players have been ranked by a couple of different factors. One factor is whether they helped the Ravens win one of their two Super Bowls or not. The Ravens are one of 12 teams to win a Super Bowl since 2000, so having multiple championships is a big deal. Any player that was brought in and helped the Ravens win either Super Bowl XXXV or Super Bowl XLVII deserves praise.

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Another factor is longevity. A player that didn’t win a Super Bowl with the Ravens, but was a core part of the franchise for a long time measures up. In the end, it’s balancing all the information and making a decision. There are no right answers here, but these are the players that standout to me as the top 15 free agent additions in Ravens history.

Ranking these players isn’t easy. We’re not talking about run of the mill players here. We’re talking about players who made the purple and black who they have been over the years. These are the legends that added important pieces to the puzzle.