FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: James Ihedigbo #44 of the New England Patriots celebrates with teammate Rob Ninkovich #50 after sacking Joe Flacco (not pictured) #5 of the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Most people barely glanced at the news that the Baltimore Ravens had signed safety James Ihedigbo, who was just released by the New England Patriots. Last year, the Ravens were lucky to find former Houston Texans safety Bernard Pollard only slightly earlier, and look how great that signing turned out to be?
Ihedigbo is not about to crack the starting lineup with Pollard and some guy named Reed at free safety, but he is the best insurance policy the team could hope for. No offense to Sean Considine and Christian Thompson, but neither is as NFL-ready as Ihedigbo. James, as it may be easier to call him, was one of the better defensive players for the Patriots last season. He started12 of 16 games and finished fourth on the team with 46 total tackles.
James has played in over 50 NFL games and there is no substitution for actual NFL experience. The departure of both Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura left a huge vacancy in the team's depth at safety and even before Emanuel Cook broke his leg, the team was thin at the position. Now, they have a solid pro who could ply in the event of injury and provide a solid insurance policy for the Ravens.