Wilcox: 'Blessed' to be back with Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- Daniel Wilcox hasn't forgotten what it was like to sit on his mother's couch two years ago wondering how he was going to pay the note on his car. "I didn't have a penny in my pocket," the Baltimore Ravens' backup tight end recalled. Two years later, Wilcox has no such worries or financial difficulties.

After catching 45 passes over the last two seasons for the Ravens and leading them in special teams tackles last season with 18, he signed a three-year contract with Baltimore with a yearly average of $915,000.

"I almost jumped through the roof when the Ravens called," Wilcox said in a telephone interview from Atlanta."I feel truly blessed. If anybody knows my story, they know I've busted my tail."

Wilcox bounced around the NFL for years, playing for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL Europe's Rhein Fire before catching on with Baltimore in 2004.

Out of work at the time and wondering if he would ever play football again, Wilcox was recommended by West Coast scout Daniel Jeremiah, Wilcox's quarterback at Appalachian State.

"We are happy to have one of our own back," Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

Wilcox has started eight games with 373 receiving yards, two touchdowns and 27 special-teams tackles. He has lined up everywhere from H-back, wide receiver and fullback while backing up Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap.

"That's the kind of player I wanted to be," Wilcox said. "I wanted to play as much of everything as possible."

Wilcox is working out in Atlanta with free agent running backs Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor. He acknowledged a great deal of surprise that he heard from Baltimore first and that higher-profile teammates remain uncertain of their future.

"I was totally shocked because I thought they would pay attention to Jamal and those guys first and I would be waiting until the end of March," Wilcox said. "It's kind of unfortunate if they don't bring Jamal back, and I'm praying they bring Chester back."

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

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