Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome rightfully earned his reputation as a top NFL executive for his success in the draft. Nevertheless, Newsome’s additions through free agency and trades have been quite valuable to the club, especially for the Ravens two championship teams. As the 2018 NFL league year begins this week, a glance back at the 22 greatest veteran acquisitions over the franchise’s 22 seasons:
22. Orlando Brown, OT, 2003-2005
Brown returned to the Ravens after a three year hiatus, providing solid blocking on the right side.
21. Bryant McKinnie, OT, 2011-2013
McKinnie started just one full season in Baltimore, but his presence allowed the team to reconfigure their offensive line before the 2012 championship run.
20. Vonta Leach, FB, 2011-2013
A two time Pro Bowl lead blocker for the Ravens, Leach followed in the tradition of Sam Gash and Lorenzo Neal.
19. Deion Sanders, CB, 2004-2005
Deion came out of retirement to suit up for the Ravens are a lengthy layoff. Despite a complementary roll, the Hall of Famer contributed five interceptions and a touchdown.
18. Corey Graham, DB, 2012-2013
Graham was an underutilized find by Newsome who will always be remembered for his two crucial interceptions of Peyton Manning in the 2012 playoffs.
17. Qadry Ismail, WR, 1999-2001
A valuable role player, Ismail posted nearly 3,000 receiving yards and scored 18 touchdowns in three years with the Ravens.
16. Willis McGahee, RB, 2007-2010
Newsome traded with Buffalo for McGahee and the tailback earned Pro Bowl honors following his first season with the Ravens. The third leading rusher in team history, behind only Jamal Lewis and Ray Rice, Willis helped keep the pressure off Joe Flacco during his early seasons.
15. Sam Adams, DT, 2000-2001
This massive lineman made a large impact during his short time in Charm City. Adams had the ability to rush the quarterback, stuff the run and perhaps most importantly, keep blockers off Ray Lewis.
14. Eric Weddle, S, 2016-
Weddle has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first two season in Baltimore. He has shored up communication in the secondary and helped the defense regain their turnover producing ways, including his 11 takeaways.
13. Tony Siragusa, DT, 1997-2001
‘Goose’ played a large part in creating the Ravens culture of toughness and intimidation. Known as a block eater, Siragusa’s tackle and sack totals prove he was more than that, and his leadership was indispensable.
12. Samari Rolle, CB, 2005-2008
Signed away from the Titans, Rolle formed a shutdown pairing with Chris McAlister for the dominant 2006 defense. His nine interceptions and 36 passes defensed in 51 games for the Ravens display his merit.
11. Steve Smith, WR, 2014-2016
This feisty wideout gave the offense the attitude they desperately needed when he came to Baltimore. A consistent producer when on the field, Smith served as the top offensive target in all three seasons before retirement.
10. Elvis Dumervil, OLB, 2013-2016
‘Doom’ supplied 37.5 sacks and an All-Pro season for the Ravens. His 17 sacks in 2014 propelled Baltimore to their most recent postseason berth.
9. Kelly Gregg, DT, 2001-2010
Signed away from the Eagles, Gregg is one of the most under appreciated players in team history. A dependable and disruptive lineman, Gregg amassed over 350 tackles during nine seasons in Baltimore.
8. Trevor Pryce, DL, 2006-2009
Pryce was a versatile player able to excel against both the run and pass, and broke out for 13 sacks in 2006. He worked alongside Terrell Suggs and Adalius Thomas to manufacture an elite pass rush.
7. Jacoby Jones, WR, 2012-2014
An electric return man, Jones earned All-Pro honors after signing with the Ravens. He notched five special teams touchdowns for the team, and three scores in the 2012 playoffs, including the unforgettable ‘Mile High Miracle’.
6. Shannon Sharpe, TE, 2000-2001
The Hall of Famer only wore purple for two seasons, but scored some of the most memorable touchdowns in team history. Sharpe’s pair of long touchdowns in the 2000 playoffs were absolutely vital to the Ravens championship.
5. Matt Birk, C, 2009-2012
Birk provided reliability and savvy to the offensive line for four straight years. His distinguished career culminated in a well deserved Super Bowl victory.
4. Derrick Mason, WR, 2005-2010
The Ravens all-time receiving yardage and receptions leader was a model of professionalism throughout his five year tenure in Baltimore. Mason brought stability to a receiving core that had been a long term weakness.
3. Anquan Boldin, WR, 2010-2012
Acquiried via trade from Arizona, Boldin was not nearly as consistent as Mason. However, he carried the Ravens to victory in multiple regular season games, and his sensational 380 yard, four touchdown performance in the 2012 postseason helped elevate Joe Flacco to the highest level of his career.
2. Michael McCrary, DE, 1997-2002
Newsome stole ‘Big Mike’ from the Seahawks. He produced a pair of Pro Bowl seasons and 57 sacks, including six in the 2000 playoffs. McCrary, along with holdover Rob Burnett and Peter Boulware, formed a ferocious pass rush that established Baltimore’s defensive identity.
1. Rod Woodson, DB, 1998-2001
This Hall of Famers brought leadership to a talented young defense. After converting to free safety, Woodson made the Pro Bowl in each of his final three seasons with the team, and greatly influenced the Ravens first championship.