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James Ihedigbo: 'I bring that leadership mentality'

Veteran safety James Ihedigbo knows exactly why the Ravens reached out to him shortly after he was cut by the New England Patriots.

The Ravens wanted to acquire expertise on special teams and for him to provide depth on defense with safety Emanuel Cook out for the season with a broken right leg and safety Sean Considine recovering from a pair of concussions.

"Being in the league for six years now, I bring that leadership mentality of the big game, of playing in multiple AFC championship games and the Super Bowl, and also being an expert on special teams and whatever I can bring to the defense," Ihedigbo said. "I told coach [John] Harbaugh, 'Whatever you need me to do, coach.'"

Ihedigbo was signed to a one-year, $700,000 contract that included no signing bonus and counts for $540,000 against the salary cap under the minimum salary player benefit.

"It was real quick," Ihedigbo said. "Once we got everything situated, I was here the next day."

Ihedigbo, 28, started a dozen games for the Patriots last season, finishing with 69 tackles and one pass deflection. Heading into his sixth NFL season, the 6-foot-1, 214 pounder has 118 tackles and five sacks.

It didn't take much convincing for the Ravens to strike a deal with Ihedigbo considering his mother lives in Abingdon and the team won the AFC North title last season.

"I have a lot of respect for their organization for many years now," Ihedigbo said. "I feel honored and privileged to be a Baltimore Raven."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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