Seeking to make up for a major loss on defense last week, the Ravens announced a couple moves today to beef up their already-ailing second line.
The key signing was Brandon Boykin, a 26-year-old veteran cornerback known for his stellar play for the Philadelphia Eagles years ago. Two years after his breakout 2013 season — in which he recorded 47 tackles (solo and shared), six interceptions, two forced fumbles and a touchdown — Boykin was shipped off to Pittsburgh.
He later signed with the Carolina Panthers, but was cut soon after during training camp. He then got a deal with the Chicago Bears, but tore his pectoral muscle and spent the year on the Injured Reserve.
The Ravens also signed 24-year-old cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz, a product of West Chester University who last played for the Steelers. The Colts originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He spent most of last season with the Steelers, save for one stray game with the Texans after the Steelers dropped him ahead of the playoffs. (Pittsburgh picked him up again in December.)
Both cornerbacks are arriving in Baltimore after last week’s painful loss of second-year cornerback Tavon Young, who excelled in 2016 behind no. 1 cornerback option Jimmy Smith. Young tore his ACL during OTAs and will miss the entire 2017 season as a result, the team said.
Young was one of two Ravens practice casualties in as many days. Pro Bowl tight end Dennis Pitta dislocated his right hip for the third time in five years after a fall during practice, per ESPN. He’ll need surgery to repair the injury, and his career could sadly be over.
To make room for both additions, the team decided to cut Kyle Arrington, who was about to start his final year of a three-year contract, but failed his physical.