Ravens sign O-lineman Hurst to four-year deal
OWINGS MILS — The Baltimore Ravens signed offensive lineman James Hurst to a new four-year contract Monday, the organization announced.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports the contract is worth $17.5 million, and includes $8 million guaranteed.
Hurst has proven durable and versatile in his four years since signing with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2014, appearing in all 64 games since and starting in 32. He started at left guard this past season, but moved to left tackle in place of Ronnie Stanley, who missed a Nov. 19 game against the Green Bay Packers with a concussion. He made one start at right tackle the previous season.
As a full-time starter in 2017, he helped Baltimore’s offensive line to allow the seventh fewest sacks (27) in the NFL despite numerous injuries across the unit. The Ravens also averaged the second most points in the league over the second half of the season.
“This is good news for our football team,” head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “James is a reliable, tough and versatile player who has played a lot of football for us. He has started at both tackle and guard, and all he has been is productive and someone who has made us better.”
The Ravens announced the deal shortly after noon Monday, the beginning of the NFL’s legal tampering period when teams can contact soon-to-be free agents. The size of the contract suggests Hurst, who had been mostly a dependable and versatile backup prior to 2017, will be a starting lineman for Baltimore for seasons to come.
Baltimore released veteran defensive back Lardarius Webb Monday, according to an ESPN report.
Webb appeared to confirm the news, posting “Thank you Baltimore it’s been a great run” on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.
Moving on from Webb, 32, saves the Ravens nearly $2 million in cap space. It marks the second-consecutive offseason that Baltimore has cut Webb.
The Ravens released Webb on March 10 of last season and re-signed him to a smaller contract exactly one month later. The nineyear NFL veteran has spent his entire career with the franchise since being drafted in the third round back in 2009.
Webb transitioned from cornerback to safety in 2016. In 2017, he intercepted a pass in both of Baltimore’s first two games of the season, but saw his role on the defense reduced significantly as the season progressed. Webb finished the year with two interceptions and a forced fumble for a unit that led the NFL in interceptions and total takeaways. He added 37 tackles and two sacks on the season.
Webb has 15 career interceptions and 473 tackles over nine years in Baltimore.
The long-time Raven is a fan favorite for both his performance on the field and his involvement in the community. He founded the Lardarius Webb Foundation, which provided aid to underprivileged children and their families in the area.
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
The Baltimore Ravens re- signed offensive lineman James Hurst, right, to a four- year deal on Monday.