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Former Ravens safety Eric Weddle lands two-year deal with Los Angeles Rams

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Former Ravens safety Eric Weddle lands two-year deal with Los Angeles Rams

LOS ANGELES -- Veteran safety Eric Weddle agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on Friday, returning to his native Southern California to join the defending NFC champions' secondary.

The Rams also released starting linebacker Mark Barron, continuing a shuffle of veteran personnel after going 13-3 in the regular season and reaching the Super Bowl last month.

Weddle joins the Rams after a 12-year pro career with San Diego and Baltimore, where he spent the past three seasons. The six-time Pro Bowl selection was released Tuesday after starting all 16 games last year for the Ravens, who elected to get younger.

The 34-year-old Weddle is a year older than Rams coach Sean McVay, but he could be exactly what Los Angeles' secondary needs. He is nearly certain to take the starting job held by Lamarcus Joyner, who is expected to leave as a free agent.

Joyner was a starter for the past two years, but Weddle is widely regarded as one of the NFL's best free safeties. The heavily bearded veteran didn't have an interception last season for just the second time in his career, but he made 68 tackles on the Ravens' stellar defense and played an important leadership role in Baltimore, just as he did in San Diego.

Weddle is also durable, starting all 16 games in nine of the last 11 seasons for the Chargers and Ravens.

He adds even more experience to the Rams' secondary alongside 33-year-old cornerback Aqib Talib and two-time Pro Bowl selection Marcus Peters. Talib is second among active players in career interceptions with 35, while Weddle is ninth with 29.

Promising two-year pro John Johnson is the Rams' other starting safety.

Weddle grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, one of Los Angeles' outer suburbs, before starring at Utah and joining the Chargers as a second-round pick.

Barron started 12 regular-season games and all three playoff games for the Rams last season, making 74 combined tackles. The seven-year pro was the seventh overall pick by Tampa Bay in 2012, and he joined the Rams in a trade during the 2014 season.

Barron has been a starter for the past four seasons for the Rams. He was about to enter the fourth season of a five-year, $45 million deal.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, edge rusher Dante Fowler and cornerback Sam Shields also are expected to hit unrestricted free agency this month. The Rams haven't ruled out bringing back all three veterans.

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4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

The Baltimore Ravens will add to their historic franchise this weekend during the 2019 NFL Draft. All eyes will be set on who they take with their first pick, whether that's at No. 22 or beyond. 

With a handful of needs, which prospects should you be aware of? Here are four players projected to possibly land with the Ravens Thursday night.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi

Metcalf grabbed the attention of the football world during the NFL Combine, running a 4.33 40-yard dash and posting a 40.5 vertical jump. The jury is still out, however, on how he'll pan out in the NFL. Metcalf missed part of the 2018 season with a neck injury and a foot injury derailed his 2016 season after just two games. Metcalf admitted that his history of injuries was brought up often when meeting with NFL teams, and his apparent 1.9% body fat simply isn't healthy, according to a combine trainer. Nonetheless, draft experts have the receiver as a top option for the Ravens. 

DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

The Ravens are going to need some help on defense after losing Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency. Ferrell had 38 tackles for loss and 21 sacks over the last two seasons with the National Champions. Standing at 6'4", 264 pounds, the defensive end's combine profile describes him as having "prototypical size, length and strength to offer early help against both the run and pass."

C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

The Ravens could be looking for their center of the future. McCoy earned a starting role with the Aggies during the 2016 season, starting all 16 games after redshirting his freshman season. In his sophomore season, McCoy helped Texas A&M average 406.8 yards per game. From 2016-19, the center helped his team rush for over 2,000 yards. A talent like that could be extremely helpful with Lamar Jackson under center. 

WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Another wide receiver in the mix, Brown averaged more than 18 yards per reception over two years at Oklahoma, racking up 1,300 yards with 10 touchdowns on 75 receptions in 2018 alone. Nicknamed "Hollywood," the 21-year-old's speed and ability to threaten deep "gives him a chance to become the most impactful wideout in this draft."

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

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Baltimore Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

Baltimore Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

The most accurate kicker in NFL history is staying in Baltimore.

The Ravens announced Wednesday that they have agreed to a contract extension with kicker Justin Tucker. The four-year extension will keep him in Baltimore through the 2023 season. The extension is reportedly worth $23.05 million, including $12.5 million fully guaranteed in the first two years and an $8 million signing bonus.

Tucker, who was entering the final year of his second contract, is a two-time Pro Bowler who has made 90.1 percent of his field goal attempts through his seven-year career. In 2018, Tucker converted 35-of-39 field goal attempts and 36 of the Ravens' 27 extra points. He was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice last season and has a franchise-record nine nominations.

An undrafted free agent in 2012, the 29-year-old owns an NFL-record seven-career games with multiple 50-plus-yard field goals and became the only kicker in league history to kick field goals from the 20-, 30-, 40-, 50- and 60-yard ranges in a single game. 

Keeping Tucker in Baltimore is a major win for the Ravens this offseason. The team will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to officially announce his extension. 

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

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