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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Matt Birk, Baltimore Ravens
Matt Birk, Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

(2009-12). Matt Birk. 4. player. 26. . C

Few teams understand how important the center position is than the Ravens. When they won Super Bowl XXXV they had Jeff Mitchell. Then, Mike Flynn moved to the position and gave the Ravens consistency for years in front of the quarterback.

Recently, Ryan Jensen became the highest paid center with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Do you know who the best center in the franchise’s history is? It’s Matt Birk.

Birk came to Baltimore after having a good run with the Minnesota Vikings. He had been to the Pro Bowl six times before he ever wore the Ravens version of purple. In 2011, he won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

This award is for the player that does the most good off the football field. It’s something the Ravens Flock should be very proud of. Birk played four seasons in Baltimore and he was a rock for the team.

When Birk got to Baltimore, he was one of the missing pieces to the puzzle. The Ravens had just gone to the AFC Championship and were contenders. Birk came on to the scene when the Ravens were just starting the best era in their history.

The Ravens had a young quarterback that was incredibly tough, but he struggled against the inside pass rush. Birk was a solution to a problem. The best free agent signings give a team one thing it desperately needs. That’s what happened here.

Birk was the best pass protecting center the Ravens had. He certainly was one of the more elite players at his position in the NFL. The biggest reason that Birk was important to the Ravens was because he kept Joe Flacco upright. With Birk, Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda at the center and guard positions, the interior of the offensive line was set for a Super Bowl run.