It’s been a relatively quiet start to the new league year for many of the Baltimore Ravens‘ unrestricted free agents. On Tuesday, one of them found a new home when inside linebacker Chris Board signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
The #Lions have agreed to terms with LB Chris Board on a one-year deal, source says. Has been a special-teams standout and situational defensive player for the #Ravens, who made an effort to keep him. Expected to compete for a starting spot on defense in Detroit.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 22, 2022
Board initially signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State in 2018 and made the roster as a rookie. He quickly became a core player on special teams, where he has since established himself as one of the best in the league.
On defense, he made just two career starts and was mostly utilized as a situational player in coverage and on blitzes. He acted as third safety at times last season when the Ravens were razor-thin at the position. He showed the ability to cover tight ends and running backs downfield.
During his four years in Baltimore, he recorded 94 total tackles (including 52 solos and three for a loss), 2.5 sacks — all of which came in 2020 — seven quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and one pass deflection.
His departure marks the second special teams ace that the Ravens have lost this offseason including the retirement of Anthony Levine, aka “Co-Cap.” However, they still have veteran safety Tony Jefferson, who will assume a larger role in that phase of the game and provide an upgrade in Board’s rotational defender role. The Ravens also have a rich history of finding and developing core special teamers, so expect the pipeline to continue to flow going forward.