By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
1:33 PM EDT, May 21, 2013
The Ravens have signed fourth-round outside linebacker John Simon to a four-year deal.
Simon's contract has a total value of $2.545 million, including a $385,652 signing bonus. The deal includes base salaries of $405,000, $495,000, $585,000 and $675,000.
The Ravens now have three unsigned draft picks: first-round safety Matt Elam, second-round inside linebacker Arthur Brown and third-round defensive tackle Brandon Williams.
Simon is expected to compete for playing time at strongside outside linebacker behind Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw, and also for a role as a situational pass rusher and on special teams.
The Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season, Simon lined up everywhere from defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker for the Buckeyes.
Because of his gritty style of play, Simon has drawn comparisons to former Ravens outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.
"Yes, toughness and style, work ethic, attention to detail, guys that love ball," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after the draft of Simon and Johnson, who now plays for the San Diego Chargers. "He's our kind of guy. Jarret Johnson was a Raven, and he always will be. So it's probably a good comparison."
Last season, Simon recorded 44 tackles, 14.5 for losses and a career-high nine sacks. In four seasons, Simon finished with 154 tackles, 43 for losses, 20.5 sacks and 10 pass deflections.
"I'm a nonstop motor guy who's going to do whatever it takes to better the team," Simon said after being drafted by the Ravens. "I do my job. I'm aggressive. My mentality: never quit."
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer often called Simon the heart and soul of the Buckeyes, saying the two-time team captain was his second-favorite player he's ever coached behind Tim Tebow at the Florida.
At his campus Pro Day workout, Simon ran the 40-yard dash between 4.62 and 4.7 seconds. Simon is an avid weightlifter.
One of the first things he did after arriving at the Ravens' training complex for a rookie minicamp is ask team officials when he could get into the weight room for a workout.