The return of left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie via a two-year contract worth up to $7 million is expected to bolster the Ravens' offensive line.
Now that McKinnie has been retained after a brief foray into free agency where he drew offers from the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers, the Ravens have four of their five starting offensive linemen back from their Super Bowl run.
“Having Bryant back is a big plus for us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said today. "We were hoping that would be the case. I’m looking forward to seeing him next week and getting him in here and going to work. We want our line to be as strong as it can possibly be, and that makes us stronger.”
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When asked to relate what McKinnie has told the team about his conditioning activities, Harbaugh didn't address that specifically.
"Yes, I’m always pleased with conversations with Bryant McKinnie," Harbaugh said with a laugh. "I enjoy talking to Bryant. He’s one of my favorite guys. He’s a sterling conversationalist. We talk a lot about stuff – a lot of different things, broad range of topics. I always enjoy that. I think he does as well.”
McKinnie's contract includes an undisclosed signing bonus, incentive clauses, weight clauses and workout bonuses, according to a source. The Ravens' contract was the best financial offer.
"I'm excited to be back," McKinnie told The Baltimore Sun on Friday morning. "I didn't really want to leave anyway. I like being in Baltimore."
McKinnie's plan is to pick up where he left off during the Ravens' Super Bowl run.
With McKinnie at left tackle, Michael Oher at right tackle and Kelechi Osemele playing left guard, the Ravens allowed just six sacks in four playoff victories capped by defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens averaged 410.3 yards of total offense per game as quarterback Joe Flacco had plenty of time to throw 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions during the postseason.
"Yep, that's what I want to do," McKinnie said. "I want to pick up from there. I feel like we have a chance for a great year with me and K.O. on the left side."