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Veteran defensive lineman Chris Canty rejoins Ravens on two-year, $4.65 million deal

Chris Canty

It was 5 a.m. Wednesday in Hawaii when defensive end Chris Canty got the telephone call informing him he was rejoining the Ravens on a two-year, $4.65 million contract.

Roughly three weeks after being released by the team, Canty is back. He had met with the New York Jets but canceled a scheduled visit today with the Seattle Seahawks.

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The deal includes a $1.5 million signing bonus and a $1 million base salary for 2015. The second year is a team option with a $2million base salary and a $150,000 option bonus, according to NFL sources.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome had maintained interest all along in bringing back Canty.

"When I was released, Ozzie and I talked about things and we left the door open," Canty said from Hawaii, where the Ravens' players union representative attended an NFL Players Association meeting. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to come back and be part of a great tradition."

Canty, 32, played for the New York Giants before joining the Ravens two years ago. He was entering the final year of a three-year, $8 million contract when released in February, a transaction that saved the Ravens $2.66 million against the salary cap. His new salary-cap figure is $1.75 million.

"We talked weeks ago about the possibility of Chris coming back, and we are happy he is," Newsome said.

Canty considered retirement for about a month before deciding he wanted to play again. He told Ravens coach John Harbaugh that when they spoke on the phone Sunday.

"I had some time to think about things and get away from things," Canty said. "I told him ... I decided I wanted to play football and play a couple of more years.

"Things came to fruition, and I'm excited to be going back there in Baltimore. Tell [equipment manager] Bill Sheridan to take the boards off of my locker and put my stuff back in there. I'm ready to go back to work."

Part of Canty's role will involve mentoring a young defensive line that includes nose tackle Brandon Williams, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and defensive ends Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore. Urban and Lewis-Moore missed last season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn Achilles, respectively.

"Absolutely, it's a very talented group on the defensive front," Canty said. "We've got to get these guys a little more experience, but these guys can really play. I'll try to teach them as much as I can to help our team be successful.

"It's important to have a deep defensive line and have guys who can play at a very high level. Timmy Jernigan, Brandon Williams, Brent Urban, Kapron Lewis-Moore, I'm super excited about the dynamic of different talent we bring to the table."

In 10 NFL seasons, the former Dallas Cowboys and Giants defensive lineman has 335 tackles, 21.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. Canty had 63 tackles, 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in his first two seasons with the Ravens.

Canty missed five games last season, including four after undergoing surgery for a staph infection in his wrist and thumb. He had 33 tackles, a half-sack and a forced fumble in 11 starts. He said he's healthy now.

"No offseason surgeries, so I should really have the opportunity to consistently train and get my body in peak physical condition," Canty said.

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