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Jason Babin's no longer a star, but he can help the Ravens

Baltimore Ravens sign veteran linebacker Jason Babin, to a one-year deal with according to league sources. Babin, an 11-year veteran with 62.5 career sacks and two Pro Bowl selections. (Kevin Richardson)

Just a few seasons ago, new Ravens outside linebacker Jason Babin was among the NFL's most effective pass rushers.

Playing for the Tennessee Titans in 2010, Babin had 12.5 sacks. The next season, he was third in the NFL with 18 sacks while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Now 35 years old, Babin won't be that player with the Ravens. And, truth be told, 2010 and 2011 were blips in an otherwise modest NFL career.

In his first seven seasons, Babin had 17.5 sacks. He combined for 30.5 his next two seasons, then managed 16.5 over the four seasons he's played since.

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This analysis by Bleacher Report last summer suggested that Babin, even during those two dominant seasons, has been a poor run defender. But that won't be an issue with the Ravens, who just need someone to play in obvious passing situations.

And as Jeff Zrebiec noted in his story about the Ravens signing Babin, Pro Football Focus graded him the ninth-best 3-4 outside linebacker in the league last year, when he had two sacks, 27 quarterback hurries and seven quarterback hits as a situational pass rusher. He's also just a season removed from managing 7.5 sacks with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.

He's also a guy who seems to improve as the season goes on; Babin has 25.5 career sacks in December, nearly double the total in his second-best month, September (13.5 sacks).

All of that combined to make Babin a surprise among the New York Jets' final preseason cuts this month.

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"I am not at all concerned about my abilities to rush the passer or do any other things they need me to do. I can get the job done in a very effective way," Babin told reporters after he didn't play in the Jets' final exhibition game.

He won't replace Terrell Suggs snap-for-snap, and he's unlikely to enjoy a surge in production in his 12th NFL season. But Babin, if used carefuly, ought to be able to help the Ravens.

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