Ravens bring in veteran guard Bobbie Williams

OWINGS MILLS - In a move intended to bolster the interior offensive line, the Baltimore Ravens have reached an agreement on a two-year contract with former Cincinnati Bengals veteran starting guard Bobbie Williams.

Williams, 35, could provide the Ravens with a potential starting alternative at left guard other than rookie second-round draft pick Kelechi Osemele or former third-round pick Jah Reid.

The Ravens have been looking to stabilize the left guard spot ever since former guard Ben Grubbs signed with the New Orleans Saints in March.

At 6-foot-4, 345 pounds, Williams is regarded as a mauling presence at the line of scrimmage.

However, Williams is coming off a difficult final season with the Bengals and is up in years for an offensive lineman. He turns 36 on Sept. 25.

Williams was punished by the NFL last year with a four-game suspension for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy.

After returning to start nine games, he fractured his right ankle against the Houston Texans and was placed on injured reserve.

Prior to the suspension and ankle injury injury, Williams had never missed a game since taking over as the Bengals' starting guard in 2004. A former Arkansas standout, Williams began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles as their second-round draft pick in 2000.

"Bobbie is a guy who has been in the league for a long time," coach John Harbaugh said. "We've played against him, and we like his style of play and his demeanor as a person and as a player. We're excited to have him as a member of our team."

Reid recently missed practice time with a lower back injury, and Osemele has an undisclosed leg injury that has sidelined him for the past two organized team activities.

The Ravens offered former St. Louis Rams and Baltimore center-guard Jason Brown a one-year contract during free agency, but he declined.

They also offered Eagles starting guard Evan Mathis a more lucrative long-term deal that was comparable to the $32.5 million deal he signed to remain in Philadelphia.

Now, they've added Williams to the mix at left guard.

The deal won't become official until Williams takes and passes his physical.

Reach staff writer Aaron Wilson at 410-857-7896 or sports@carrollcountytimes.com.

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