Ravens round out line with Vincent

OWINGS MILLS -- In terms of checking off major items, the Baltimore Ravens' agenda is nearly complete with the signing of burly offensive guard Keydrick Vincent.<br><br> Since the free agent signing period began 11 days ago, the Ravens have addressed each of their top three areas of need in order of priority.

First, they signed wide receiver Derrick Mason to try to upgrade the 31st-ranked passing game in the league. Then, they added former Pro Bowl cornerback Samari Rolle to fill the hole created by Gary Baxter's abrupt departure.

Now, Vincent is the Ravens' answer to the right guard vacancy created by the decision to not retain four-year starter Bennie Anderson. Vincent passed his physical Friday and signed a three-year contract worth $4.64 million that includes a $1.25 million signing bonus.

"I'm very familiar with the Baltimore Ravens organization being in the AFC North," Vincent said. "I'm a very physical lineman. Baltimore is a very physical team. I think I fit right in."

Vincent, 26, was only assessed two penalties and a half-sack last season, according to Stats, Inc.

The Steelers went 15-1 as they finished second in the league in rushing yards per game with an average of 154 yards.

"Baltimore is a team on the rise," Vincent said. "Coming off a 15-1 season, you always want to play for a contender and I feel that Baltimore will be a contender this year."

The Ravens had also pursued Indianapolis Colts free agent guard Rick DeMulling, who was viewed as too expensive. Atlanta Falcons free agent guard Roberto Garza didn't pass his physical.

At 6-foot-5, 325 pounds, Vincent is viewed as an upgrade athletically to Anderson in terms of pass protection with enough agility and quickness to block linebackers in the open field.

"He's an outstanding run blocker, he understands physical, hard-nosed play," Ravens offensive line coach Chris Foerster said of Vincent, who started 16 games last season. "He brings an athleticism to pass protection, pulling, just some different talents to the position.

"He's a very good athlete. As you can see, he has the size and the strength to continue our tradition of a physical offensive line."

Vincent will join center Mike Flynn, All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden and left guard Edwin Mulitalo. He'll play next to right tackle Orlando Brown, a massive blocker at 6-7, 365 pounds known for playing with edgy emotion.

"Everybody has their problems," said Vincent, drawing laughter when asked about Brown's legendary temper.

Now, the Ravens are likely to try to sign another veteran wide receiver while also considering their remaining options for the defensive front seven.

Denver Broncos free agent guard/tackle Cooper Carlisle visited the Ravens' training complex Friday, but no deal was announced.

Carlisle visited the Atlanta Falcons on Monday and has also drawn interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
"Cooper's a good player," Foerster said. "We liked his flexibility and versatility that he showed in Denver. When he started, he did a nice job."

NOTE: Ravens free safety Will Demps was recently paid $143,000 by the NFL under a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that supplements players whose playing time exceeds their contract. The money is paid from a pool of league revenue.

A restricted free agent who was assigned the middle tender, Demps is slated to make $1.4 million in 2005.

As well as a being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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