Veteran cornerback Derek Cox officially rejoined the Ravens' roster Tuesday, a transaction that cost veteran inside linebacker Josh Bynes his job.
A former Pro Bowl alternate with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cox was released by the Ravens on Saturday. Cox signed another one-year, $730,000 contract that counts $570,000 against the NFL salary cap under the veteran minimum salary benefit.
The Tennessee Titans had hoped to sign Cox before he re-signed with the Ravens in advance of their season-opener Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to a source.
Cox is now on his third team this year after being cut in March by the San Diego Chargers one year after signing a four-year, $20 million contract and released by the Minnesota Vikings last week.
"I'm happy to be here and I'm diving in preparing for Cincinnati," Cox said in the Ravens' locker room. "They're all adjustments you have to make. You come into a new organization with a whole new playbook. You're adjusting to the plays and taking in all the information so you can play fast."
Cox had three tackles and one pass deflection during the Ravens' preseason finale win over the New Orleans Saints.
"That was definitely a good experience going out there playing with your teammates and getting that chemistry and experience," Cox said. "That was awesome."
Cox recorded 38 tackles and one interception last season for the Chargers in his lone season in San Diego. He was benched three times in San Diego and eventually lost his starting job to Richard Marshall.
The primary issue Cox had was struggled as a miscast slot cornerback in San Diego after having success outside with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who drafted him in the third round in 2009 out of William & Mary.
"That situation was so long ago I'm not even focused on it," Cox said of his problems in San Diego. "You take what you can from the experience. I'm moving forward, looking forward to this new opportunity."
In five NFL seasons, Cox has 241 career tackles and 13 interceptions. He was a 2010 Pro Bowl alternate and in 2012 had a career-high 60 tackles with four interceptions and a forced fumble.
In his first NFL game in 2009, Cox intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and also recovered a fumble. He finished with 58 tackles and four interceptions as a rookie.
"I hope to contribute and help this team win ball games," Cox said. "That's as simple as it can me and that's exactly where my mind should be. I feel like I'm a player that can make plays and help the team."
As for Bynes, he was a popular player in the locker room who started six games last season at inside linebacker and played in all but one game as he recorded 45 tackles and three pass deflections. His release comes as the Ravens have restocked their depth chart at inside linebacker with the arrival of first-round rookie C.J. Mosley as the new starter at weak-side inside linebacker.
A former undrafted free agent out of Auburn signed in 2011 by the Ravens, Bynes had four special-teams tackles last season.
"All I can tell you about Josh Bynes is if we can ever bring him back, we will in whatever capacity we can," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He's been a Raven through and through. He's done nothing but help us be our best. He's completely all-in for everything we've ever done here. I love Josh, and I know he'll do well no matter what he does."
The Ravens retained backup inside linebackers Albert McClellan and Zach Orr, an undrafted rookie from North Texas who made the team largely on the strength of his special-teams skills.
"He played well," Harbaugh said of Orr. "He's a really smart football player. To be a young guy, he's a guy that picks up football really quickly. There are a lot of players that physically can do it in this league, but football is a complicated sport. Not to disparage other sports, but a lot of processing that goes on in football between when the ball is snapped and the end of the play comes in.
"It's not a simple process. And he's one of those guys that can understand that and react on the run, do the right things. Not only that, physically, he's pretty darn good. He can run, he's tough and he really made progress on special teams. He earned it."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun