OWINGS MILLS – It has been a rollercoaster offseason for defensive end Chris Canty. The Ravens cut him in February to create salary cap room. They re-signed him 19 days later to a two-year, $4.65 million deal.
So Canty is back, getting his body ready for an 11th NFL season. He will face stiff competition for playing time from young defensive ends Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore. No matter who starts, all of them will compete for regular action in the defensive line rotation.
How does Canty view his role? He has no intention of relinquishing his starting job.
“I’ve been a starter in this league for a decade, I don’t really see that changing,” Canty said following Wednesday’s practice. “That’s what I foresee. Things change. It’s a very fluid situation, business, what have you, but that’s what I have in mind for my role.”
Canty briefly thought about retiring after last season. He won a Super Bowl with the Giants. He has never played on a losing team. He works as an analyst for NBC Sports during the offseason. Whenever Canty walks away from the NFL, his post-career life seems set.
So what keeps Canty coming back?
“That’s a great question actually,” Canty said. “At the crux of it, it’s the opportunity to impose your will on another man. There are very few places in this world where you can do that and not go to jail. But the physical nature of this game is something that I enjoy. The opportunity to be part of a brotherhood, to be part of a team and have 50-plus guys coming together for one common goal. It’s something special that happens. I can’t really describe it. I can’t put it in words, but you know it when you’re around it.”
Asked how he felt about rejoining a team that released him, Canty smiled and said, “After being shown the door? You know what? It actually feels good having a chance to be around the guys for the first time this offseason.”
Canty views this Ravens team as having a chance to do something special. That’s another reason he’s back. And he is planning to be back as a starter.