Mixed emotions filled the first day of free agency for the Ravens, who welcomed back a local star (cornerback Domonique Foxworth) but lost two starters (linebacker Bart Scott and center Jason Brown).
Scott signed a six-year, $48 million deal ($22 million guaranteed) with the New York Jets, which ended a bidding war between the Ravens and former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. Brown agreed in principle with the St. Louis Rams on a five-year, $37.5 million contract that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.
The Ravens are expected to turn their focus to re-signing linebacker Ray Lewis, who surprisingly drew no immediate interest on the free-agent market.
In contrast to the tumultuous day of negotiations with Scott, the signing of Foxworth had a more heartfelt tone.
Foxworth, 25, who signed a four-year deal worth $27.2 million (including $16.5 million guaranteed), had his family sitting in the first row of yesterday's news conference. Everyone - father, mother, grandmother, older brother and girlfriend - had something purple, and Foxworth wore a purple tie.
"I dreamed of playing here," Foxworth said of his hometown team.
After picking up his girlfriend in Washington, Foxworth had a nostalgic drive up to Ravens headquarters in Owings Mills yesterday, passing his college (Maryland), the beltway exit for his high school (Catonsville's Western Tech) and the fields on which he played youth football (Deer Park in Randallstown).
"We're excited that it's come full circle for him," said his father, Lorinzo Foxworth. "As a parent, my knees buckled a bit, too."
A part-time starter throughout his four-year NFL career, Foxworth lacks ideal size (5 feet 11, 180 pounds) but makes up for it with exceptional speed.
A third-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2005, Foxworth has made 25 starts in 60 games and has four career interceptions. He played three seasons with the Broncos before being traded to the Atlanta Falcons prior to last season.
The Ravens were impressed after watching tape of Foxworth.
"He's a top-flight corner in the Ravens' mold," coach John Harbaugh said. "He's a corner that can cover someone all over the field. He's physical. He's hard-nosed. He's smart. ... We feel like we're going to play great defense here for a long time, and Domonique is going to be a huge part of that."
Considering Foxworth's contract, the Ravens likely project him to start ahead of Samari Rolle. Speculation last week had the Ravens shopping the veteran, 32.
They would save $4.1 million by cutting Rolle, but general manager Ozzie Newsome didn't preclude him from playing here this season.
Other Ravens headlines yesterday:
* Ravens lose Scott to the Jets: The Ravens were close to re-signing Scott before free agency began. When Scott received his first offer from the Jets (five years for $40 million), he called the Ravens to see whether they would match it.
The teams went back and forth until Scott agreed with New York.
* Quiet first day for Lewis: The Pro Bowl linebacker hasn't scheduled any free-agent visits and is open to returning to the Ravens, a league source said.
The Dallas Cowboys, linked to Lewis for weeks, haven't expressed interest, and the Jets wanted Scott more than Lewis. When Lewis reached free agency, Ravens officials thought their offer would remain Lewis' best option, a source said.
* Brown, Rams agree in principle: Brown, the Ravens' starting center last season, will become one of the highest-paid interior linemen in the NFL, averaging $7.5 million a season with the Rams.
On Thursday, Brown criticized Ravens officials, saying the team spent more on defensive players than offensive ones.