Ravens re-sign Ray Lewis, add Matt Birk

The Ravens made two significant moves on Wednesday, agreeing to a deal with linebacker Ray Lewis and signing free agent center Matt Birk.

“We have agreed in principle on a multi-year contract that will allow Ray to finish his career as a Baltimore Raven,” general manager/executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced.

(Note: Lewis’ contract will not be official until he signs, which will take place sometime in the next two weeks. At that time, the Ravens will hold a press conference with Lewis. Please understand that travel schedules for owner Steve Bisciotti, Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh and Lewis are causing this delay.)

Also agreeing to a contract this afternoon is six-time Pro Bowl C Matt Birk. Birk, who has played all 11 of his NFL seasons with Minnesota, will meet with the media Thursday morning (3/5) at the Ravens’ Owings Mills training facility at 11 a.m.

Re-signing Lewis was pivotal after the Ravens lost Bart Scott to free agency. Lewis wore down towards the end of last season but proved he can still play at a high level. Now Baltimore can turn its attention to addressing the hole left by Scott.

The addition of Birk was huge because the Ravens lost Jason Brown to the Rams. Birk has more years on Brown, but is a seasoned veteran and one of the most intelligent centers in the league. He was also the best center on the market after Brown inked his deal with St. Louis.

The other team impacted by this signing is Minnesota – Birk’s former team. They lost the bidding war for T.J. Houshmandzadeh (who signed with the Seahawks on Monday) and now have to replace Birk on their offensive line. It’s been a rough start to free agency for the Vikes.

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