Carroll County Times

Ravens: Kick returner Ted Ginn visits Ravens

OWINGS MILLS - San Francisco 49ers veteran free agent wide receiver-return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. visited the Baltimore Ravens following his previous visit with the Detroit Lions.

A speedy former Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick from Ohio State, Ginn, 26, caught 19 passes last season and scored on both punt and kickoff returns.

Ginn has six touchdown returns for his career, tying an NFL record with 100-yard and 101-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns against the New York Jets three years ago.

He ranked fourth in the league in punt return yardage with a 12.3 average last season, also averaging 27.6 yards per kickoff return to rank third overall.

He had both his touchdown returns in the first game of the season against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ginn could provide an upgrade to the Ravens' languishing return game, which lacked explosiveness last season as they averaged 24.9 yards per kickoff return and 9.6 yards per punt return.

Kickoff returner David Reed fumbled twice in one game against the Seattle Seahawks and was benched, later regaining the job before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.

Ginn has caught 159 career passes for 2,047 yards and six touchdowns.

With wide receiver Lee Evans cut from the roster before free agency, Ginn could also fit in as a potential third or fourth wide receiver.

Starting cornerback Lardarius Webb averaged 10 yards per punt return and returned one 68 yards for a touchdown.

However, Webb's also the top cornerback on the team and intercepted five passes last season with an additional three interceptions in the playoffs to tie a franchise postseason playoff record.

Webb could be too valuable to remain a regular punt returner.

NOTES: After losing Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs to the New Orleans Saints on a $36 million deal and Evan Mathis declining the Ravens' offer to remain with the Philadelphia Eagles for a $25 million five-year contract, Baltimore could go with an affordable alternative already on the roster as their new left guard.

The 6-foot-7, 330-pounder is due a $475,000 base salary in 2012, one year into his $2.6 million rookie contract after being selected in the third round last April out of Central Florida. ..

The Ravens, Tennessee Titans and the Denver Broncos have preliminary interest in former New England Patriots starting outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.

Banta-Cain didn't play last season due to undergoing surgery to repair a strained abdominal muscle last summer, but is regarded as healthy now.

Banta-Cain, 31, recorded 45 tackles, five sacks and one fumble recovery in 2010.

For his career, the ninth-year pro from Cal-Berkeley has 250 tackles, 27 1/2 sacks, one interception and four forced fumbles.