The Ravens signed a pair of former Oakland Raiders linebackers Thursday, adding to the mix of players competing for rosters spots at the team's signature position.
They also signed an offensive guard, but it wasn't Eric Steinbach, a former mainstay for the Cleveland Browns, who worked out for the Ravens Tuesday in Owings Mills.
The guard they did sign was Cord Howard, 25, who was out of the NFL last season after playing for the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia in 2010.
The linebackers signed by the Ravens Wednesday were Darryl Blackstock, 29, who has played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals as well as the Raiders; and Ricky Brown, 28, who has spent most of his career with the Raiders.
If one or both of the linebackers make the Ravens' 53-man roster, they likely will be expected to help on special teams as well as provide depth at linebacker.
With the three signings, the Ravens now have the maximum 90 players on their roster as training camp begins. If they want to add another veteran such as Steinbach, they would have to make a cut.
Blackstock, who played his college ball at Virginia, recorded 20 tackles for the Raiders in 2011. He played in the UFL in 2010.
Brown is the more accomplished of the linebackers. After making the Raiders' roster as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College in 2006, he worked his way into the team's defensive rotation, primarily as a reserve, although he did make 13 starts between 2006 and 2010. He signed with the New England Patriots last year, but was cut and returned to the Raiders. But he spent most of the season on injured reserve after sustaining a concussion early in the season.
In six NFL seasons, Brown has recorded 102 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed Tuesday that the team had worked out several linebackers along with Steinbach, who is trying to play his way back into the NFL after sitting out the 2011 season with a back injury. He remains unsigned.