Ravens trade for Douglas, cut Cody

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens traded two draft picks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday to acquire defensive lineman Marques Douglas, creating a roster spot for him by waiving injury-plagued former second-round pick Dan Cody. The compensation for Douglas, 31, a stocky, hard-nosed former Raven, includes a late-round draft choice in 2009 and a conditional 2010 draft pick.

The Ravens assume Douglas' four-year, $10.1 million contract, including a $1 million base salary this season. The former Howard University standout is due base salaries of $2.4 million apiece in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The Ravens plan to play him immediately tonight as they conclude the preseason against the Atlanta Falcons.

"I'm thrilled to be back in Baltimore," Douglas said. "This is a really good situation for me. I'm happy to be back with Rex Ryan and I already know the schemes, so it won't be a big adjustment for me."

It was a swift reaction to defensive lineman Dwan Edwards' season-ending back injury as the Ravens bolstered their depth after the loss of a key player.

Douglas recorded 133 tackles and 10 sacks as a starter for the Ravens in 2003 and 2004 prior to signing with the San Francisco 49ers.

"We're really happy to get a quality player who is also a quality person back to our team, especially this time of year," general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

Douglas was with the Ravens from 2001 to 2004 after signing with Baltimore as an undrafted rookie in 2000.

Last season, he recorded 72 tackles and three sacks with the 49ers. Douglas started 47 of 48 games for the 49ers under former Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

For his career, Douglas has 437 tackles and 19 sacks.

At 6-foot-2, 292 pounds, Douglas is capable of playing defensive end or defensive tackle in the Ravens' scheme.

Tampa Bay signed Douglas during the offseason, but his playing time rapidly dwindled behind Kevin Carter and he was fighting for a roster spot and playing time as a reserve.

"The Buccaneers didn't tell me the truth," Douglas said. "This is a good change of scenery."

Cutting ties with Cody meant giving up on a promising talent who never got over a multitude of injuries.

The former Oklahoma star sprained his anterior cruciate ligament during training camp as a rookie in 2005, tore his posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2006, tearing cartilage in his right knee and fracturing his left foot last year.

Cody battled a sprained right foot during training camp, returning to play 10 snaps and recording one tackle in the fourth quarter of a 24-10 loss Saturday to the St. Louis Rams. It was his first game action since Nov. 26, 2006.

The outside linebacker had recently expressed hope that he was on the verge of reviving his career.

"I think I have finally turned the corner on my injuries," Cody said. "I feel like I've been able to take a few shots here and there and body up with some bigger guys.

"When you get hurt so many times in a row, you feel like you're jinxed, but it's behind me now. Now that I'm back on the field, I feel like my old self."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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