Ravens sign LB Ray, WR Floyd to help fill voids

NFL

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens continued a busy second wave of free agency, striking deals Friday with two former first-round picks in pass-rusher Shane Ray and wide receiver Michael Floyd.

Both were signed to one-year deals, a source told ESPN.

The signings come one day after the Ravens brought back linebacker Pernell McPhee to help last year’s top-ranked defense get to the quarterback.

Pass rush and wide receiver are considered the two biggest needs for the defending AFC North champions. Before they added Ray and McPhee, the only player currently on the Ravens’ roster with more than seven career sacks was Matthew Judon (19).

“I’m super excited to be a part of this organization,” Ray said. “It’s a first-class organization known for having amazing defenses. Just to be out here and to be a part of this team, it means a lot to me. I’m excited to get to work and ready to try to bring a Super Bowl here.”

Floyd will add competition to an extremely young wide receiver group, which had only three wideouts who had caught an NFL pass. The 29-year-old Floyd, the 13th overall pick in the 2012 draft, is on his fifth team in as many years.

He had 10 catches for 100 yards and one touchdown last season for the Washington Redskins.

The Ravens lost Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs, their top two sack leaders, via free agency this offseason. Baltimore had shown interest in Justin Houston and Ezekiel Ansah, before they signed elsewhere.

McPhee was drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round in 2011 and spent four seasons in Baltimore before moving on to the Chicago Bears and then the Redskins last season.

He said he was excited to be back “where it all started for me.”

“I feel rejuvenated and can’t wait to join the No. 1 defense from last season,” McPhee said. “I have so much respect for this franchise and city, and I look forward to being a Raven once again.”

Ray’s time with the Denver Broncos — which began with such promise when he was drafted with the 23rd overall pick in 2015 — ended on a sour note, as the linebacker was a game-day inactive for the final three games of the 2018 season.

He played just 33 percent of the Broncos’ defensive snaps last season, finishing with one sack. That came on the heels of an abbreviated 2017 campaign, during which Ray had three surgical procedures on his wrist before going on injured reserve after 11 games.

Ray, who will turn 26 on Saturday, has had just 26 tackles and two sacks in 19 games over the past two seasons. (He has 14 career sacks.)

His vocational life changed plenty as soon as Denver drafted Bradley Chubb with the No. 5 overall pick in 2018. Chubb was quickly put into the starting defense, opposite Von Miller, during training camp, and there were few snaps left for him.

“I still have a lot of football left in me,” Ray said after the season. “I think some of my best football is still in front of me.”

Ray will have to prove whether those wrist surgeries have robbed him of the ability he showed in 2016, when he had 48 tackles and eight sacks in part-time duty. After that season, he was expected to team with Miller as the Broncos’ top pass-rushing tandem, following DeMarcus Ware’s retirement.

ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.

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