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Ravens sign TE/FB Ben Mason

Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Ravens announced on Friday that they have signed tight end/fullback Ben Mason to a reserve/future deal.

Baltimore reunites with the former Michigan Wolverine after the two sides parted ways before the start of the 2021 season. The Ravens selected Mason with the No. 184 pick in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but after failing to make the initial 53-man roster, Mason opted to sign to the New England Patriots practice squad instead of Baltimore’s.

When the Ravens used their last pick in the draft on Mason — a selection that has received a fair deal of scrutiny — many viewed him as the eventual replacement for Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard. That time may be now, as Ricard is currently set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. With a bevy of free agents, a star quarterback to extend, and holes to fill all over the roster, general manager Eric DeCosta will have to look to save money in any way possible, meaning that Ricard’s tenure in Baltimore could be coming to end in favor of a cheaper alternative.

Mason could also provide insurance for blocking tight end Nick Boyle. Boyle returned from a gruesome season-ending knee injury suffered in 2020 to play in just five games last season. While another offseason of training and rehab could see Boyle return to form as one of the best blockers at his position in the NFL, the Ravens would be wise to have a backup plan.