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Ravens Insider The latest Baltimore Ravens news, notes and analysis
Veteran corner Cassius Vaughn signs one-year, $825,000 contract, says he's 'blessed' to join Ravens

Now that veteran cornerback Cassius Vaughn has officially joined the Ravens on a one-year, $825,000 contract, he's intent on proving that he's a worthy investment.

Vaughn, 27, flew to Baltimore on Thursday night from his hometown in Memphis, Tenn., passing a physical and signing his contract.

"It's a great opportunity," Vaughn told The Baltimore Sun. "It's a blessing that the front office gave me this chance and let me become a Raven. I've been watching them for so long. It's a steady consistency and a great organization."

With the Ravens, Vaughn is expected to compete with Asa Jackson, Rashaan Melvin, Tray Walker and Chris Greenwood for playing time and a roster spot behind starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb and nickel back Kyle Arrington.

Vaughn has a lot of experience, having played five NFL seasons and intercepting five career passes with two returned for touchdowns. A 5-foot-11, 195-pound former undrafted free agent from Mississippi, Vaughn played last season for the Detroit...

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Ravens rookie pass rusher Za'Darius Smith flashes athleticism, skill in first NFL practices

Ravens rookie outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith saw it coming, instinctively anticipating a screen pass from backup quarterback Matt Schaub.

After reading the play, Smith bolted into the flat to intercept Schaub, who threw 16 interceptions the past two seasons with the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders. He signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Ravens this offseason.

After picking off Schaub, Smith ran it back for a touchdown.

As the Ravens launched their first round of organized team activities, the fourth-round draft pick from Kentucky was one of their most impressive players. Smith flashed athleticism and hustle while rushing the passer.

Signed to a four-year, $2.763 million contract that includes a $483,124 bonus, Smith is projected as a situational pass rusher behind veteran outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. The Most Valuable Player at the East-West Shrine all-star game, Smith is expected to replace Pernell McPhee. McPhee signed a five-year, $39 million...

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Ravens defensive backs Jimmy Smith, Terrence Brooks ahead of schedule coming off injuries

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was coy in April when asked about the status of his surgically repaired foot.

During an organized team activity Thursday, Smith wasn't hesitant in his movements as he routinely shadowed wide receivers in passing drills.

Signed to a four-year, $48 million contract this offseason, Smith appears to be on his way to a full and relatively speedy recovery after undergoing surgery in November for a Lisfranc foot sprain.

“He’s probably ahead of schedule,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I saw a little competitive streak. I tried to remind him he has the red jersey. He won’t put it on. He just has it tucked in his belt right there. So, I think that tells you where his mind is at.”

Meanwhile, free safety Terrence Brooks is running after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee in December. Brooks is slated to start the season on the physically unable to perform list.

“Terrence Brooks is doing really well,” Harbaugh said. “No predictions right now, but he looks good....

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Unlike Jerry Rice, Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has no plans to play into his 40s

Ravens veteran wide receiver Steve Smith displayed his traditionally feisty personality and his sense of humor Thursday when the subject of his age and longevity was raised.

The five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver celebrated his 36th birthday this month as he heads into his second season with the Ravens and his 15th year in the NFL.

When asked when he started getting questions about his age, Smith replied: “Oh, probably after the height questions stopped. It’s just one of those things. I always have someone questioning the height, prototype or age. It’s always something.”

Unlike Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, Smith has no intentions of playing past age 40. Rice retired when he was 42 years old in 2005 after setting NFL records with 1,549 catches, 22,895 yards and 208 touchdowns.

"Jerry Rice is obviously the greatest wide receiver to ever play, and I really don’t have the family structure to chase 40, to be honest,” Smith said. "I have got a lot of things on my to-do list that don’t...

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Ravens waived/injured cornerback Julian Wilson

The Ravens have waived/injured cornerback Julian Wilson.

It's a precursor to Wilson being placed on injured reserve because of his season-ending broken leg during rookie minicamp that required surgery.

Wilson has to clear waivers, though, to be officially placed on injured reserve.

Wilson was one of the Ravens' most heavily recruited undrafted rookies.

He signed with the Ravens over competing offers from the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns. The deal with the Ravens includes a $9,000 signing bonus, according to a source.

Wilson worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Falcons prior to the draft.

He met with the Ravens at the NFL scouting combine, discussing defensive schemes with secondary coach Chris Hewitt.

Wilson has prototypical size and speed for an NFL defensive back.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound cornerback has 32 3/8-inch arms, 9 1/4-inch hands and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at his campus pro day workout. He bench-pressed...

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Ravens' starting offensive line, top draft picks not at voluntary practice

The Ravens' starting offensive line was absent from the organized team activity on Thursday, but the voluntary practice was otherwise well-attended.

Left tackle Eugene Monroe, left guard Kelechi Osemele, center Jeremy Zuttah, Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda and injured right tackle Rick Wagner were not present. Wagner is recovering from a Lisfranc foot sprain and Zuttah had offseason hip surgery. Osemele attended practice Wednesday.

Veteran cornerback Lardarius Webb was absent, as were outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, rookie offensive tackle Nick Easton (who attended his Harvard graduation), rookie tight end Nick Boyle (whose class hasn't yet graduated from Delaware), outside linebacker Albert McClellan, defensive end Chris Canty, defensive end Brent Urban (who's coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament and wasn't here for personal reasons due to attending his grandfather's funeral), injured rookie cornerback Julian Wilson (broken leg) and injured wide receiver...

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