Ravens safety Bernard Pollard piled up some impressive statistics in his first season in Baltimore 75 tackles, 13 passes defended, three forced fumbles, two sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.
But it was one other crucial number that helped convince the Ravens to invest in Pollard longterm with a three-year contract extension.
That number is 27, Pollards age.
Its surprisingly young for a player entering his seventh year in the NFL, with 476 career tackles to his credit.
Pollard wont turn 28 until December, which convinced the Ravens he was worth an extension securing his services through the 2015 season.
At this point in his career, he fits right into the blueprint Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti recently detailed when he explained that the team likes to puts its money in ascending players, as opposed to those who, no matter what theyve accomplished, are on the downward slope of their careers.
Even though he has made 72 career starts, Pollard seemingly is either entering his prime or is already in it, and with his punishing style, is a natural fit for the Ravens.
Although his fellow safety, Ed Reed, is the more accomplished player and one of the best in the franchises history, Reed will be 34 when his contract runs out after next season. He has said he wants a new deal, leaving his future in Baltimore unclear.
Locking up Pollard was a less expensive move with clearer lines because of his age.
Pollard, like Reed, also was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season, and that combined with Reeds status and the departures of backups Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura this offseason meant the Ravens were possibly looking at needing an entirely new slate of safeties in 2013.
With Pollards name now written into the teams future plans in indelible ink, the Ravens have one less ting to worry about.