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Ravens DT Williams 'glad to be home' after signing mega deal

Ravens DT Williams 'glad to be home' after signing mega deal

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Long before the start of free agency, the Baltimore Ravens weighed their options and decided that 340-pound Brandon Williams was a keeper.

Then, after it became apparent that it was going to take a whole lot of money to make it happen, general manager Ozzie Newsome turned to owner Steve Bisciotti for guidance.

"Do what you have to do to get the deal done," Bisciotti told Newsome.

And so, after agreeing to terms last week, Williams on Monday signed a five-year, $52.5 million contract that made him the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL.

Williams has starred over the past three seasons for one of the best defensive units in the league. He is the latest in a long line of standouts at the position, following Tony Siragusa, Sam Adams, Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata.

"This is a really good investment for us, because of the kind of player he's been and the kind of player he's going to be," coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm thrilled Brandon Williams is part of our championship run going forward."

Surrounded by Newsome and Harbaugh at a news conference at the Ravens training complex, Williams wore a gray suit and a broad smile. He could have made big money elsewhere, but didn't want to leave the team that showed faith in him by selecting him in the third round of the 2013 draft out of tiny Missouri Southern State.

"First off, I want to say, I'm glad to be home," Williams said. "Big-time relief."

Most players look forward to the process of putting themselves out there to the highest bidder. Williams, 28, had no desire to be part of it.

"I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst," he said. "It was tough, but in the end it worked out perfectly. When it got down to it, I couldn't see myself in any other color but purple and black."

Williams found out he was coming back with a phone call from Newsome that both participants won't soon forget.

"The emotion that he had, the excitement, how happy he was, it was something that my wife said, `You're on a high,' and I was," Newsome said. "I could just feel it through the phone."

Williams said, "I was emotional. That phone call, knowing that I was going to continue to be a Raven, talking to Ozzie and hearing the happiness and joy in his voice, put a stamp on it -- that I made the right choice."

In addition to retaining Williams, who had 51 tackles and a sack in 2016, the Ravens added free agent safety Tony Jefferson to an ever-changing defense that ranked seventh last year.

"Just one piece at a time," Harbaugh said. Then, referring to Williams, he added, "This is a big piece, literally and figuratively. Really, the main piece for our defense."

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Amid Eric Decker rumors, Ravens front office now shifts attention to offensive line

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USA TODAY Sports

Amid Eric Decker rumors, Ravens front office now shifts attention to offensive line

Following the signing of veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin, the Ravens were rumored to be a potential suitor for Eric Decker after his release from the New York Jets. 

Although receiver is a position that must improve, Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti recently made it clear that the team needs to address the offensive line now. 

The Ravens offensive line faces major changes after right tackle Ricky Wagner signed with the Detroit Lions this offseason, center Jeremy Zuttah was traded to the 49ers, and guard Marshal Yanda is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. 

In the 2016 draft, the Ravens took Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the 6th overall pick. Stanley had an impressive rookie campaign, earning AFC North Rookie of the Year in a season where he only allowed three sacks while blocking for Flacco. 

The team added some young talent in this year's draft as well, taking guard Nico Siragusa (No. 122) and Jermaine Eluemunor (No. 159) both in the fourth round. 

However, it is unsure if either rookie is ready to be thrown into the starting offensive line right away.

The Ravens front office may have just made a big splash when signing Jeremy Maclin, but they aren't quite done fixing an offense that has suffered many departures over the years. 

RELATED: JEREMY MACLIN GETS FREE CRAB CAKES FOR LIFE

 

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In addition to signing a two-year deal with the Ravens, WR Jeremy Maclin is getting free crab cakes for life

In addition to signing a two-year deal with the Ravens, WR Jeremy Maclin is getting free crab cakes for life

Like they said in Wedding Crashers: "Crab cakes and football, that's what Maryland does!"

When word got out last week that veteran WR Jeremy Maclin was meeting with the Ravens to possibly pen a deal, one Maryland restaurant took matters into their own hands. 

Jimmy's Seafood, a well known seafood restaurant in Dundalk, Maryland, tweeted at Maclin and presented him with a delicious incentive. 

On Monday, Maclin signed a two-year deal with the Ravens. Maclin was also in talks with the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, but I guess he prefers crab cakes over buffalo wings and cheese steaks. 

Soon after the deal became official, Maclin responded to Jimmy's Seafood's tweet.

The restaurant has strong relationships with many current and former Ravens such as Tony Jefferson, Torrey Smith and Jonathan Ogden.

CEO of the restaurant, John Minadakis, isn't too worried about supplying the wide receiver with as many crab cakes as he would like.

"How many crab cakes can one person eat?" Minadakis said. "It's not going to take us out of business. That's for sure."

The restaurant is even willing to offer up the same deal to other potential Ravens prospects like Eric Decker, who was released from the Jets on Monday.

Whether or not their offer had that much of an effect on Maclin's decision, the man will be eating good for a very long time. 

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