The Ravens have been known for giving players a chance to succeed. Of course, this comes after a thorough vetting process. But players like Will Hill and Jimmy Smith have been awarded by the Ravens and in return, those players tend to reward the Ravens by resigning with the team at cap friendly deals and not bothering to test the open market.
Will Hill is a player that has shown his appreciation of being a Raven and what that has meant to his career by signing an extension yesterday. Per Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens' general manager Ozzie Newsome came up to Hill as he was walking off the field Thursday and congratulated him on the deal and staying a Raven.
He said, ‘I think highly of you,’ and I told him I thought highly of him and this organization, too. Now, it’s time to take it to the next level and try to win a championship
The Ravens signed Hill last offseason despite Hill having a pressing six-game suspension over his head. It was Hill's third suspension in a very short career, but the Ravens were not deterred after spending time with Hill and providing him the avenues to be a better player and a better human being. Hill even remarked about how much he has changed and his past.
I sit in the house with my family. I used to be a nightclub guy, especially coming out of college. I've just been watching a lot of movies. I'm a homebody. I took a long look in the mirror and decided to change a lot of things
Much like Jimmy Smith during the NFL Draft, a lot was made of Hill's suspension and inability to keep his nose clean. By having a tough organization that truly expects it's players to not only perform on the field, but also be model citizens off of it as well. That toughness comes from the top with owner Steve Bisciotti to general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh. That leadership to go with the veteran players the Ravens have on the team means that the entire organization and locker room has every player's back and will help them along with the trouble that comes with being a premier football player.
Jimmy Smith rewarded the Ravens by signing an extension this offseason. It kept him out of the free agent pool and ultimately hurt his chance at getting top-5 cornerback money like would have happened from another team. Hill also rewarded the Ravens in the same way and talked a little bit about that to Jeff Zrebiec.
It means a lot to me, just for this organization to even consider [having] me for more years than what they planned to in the beginning of the offseason. When I first signed and I sat down with Ozzie, I knew from that point that I didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to be a Raven, and this extension, it just helped out and it gives me a lot of confidence on the playing field and it helps me see what the organization thinks of me.