The Ravens took the final step toward keeping their highly rated special teams unit intact Monday, announcing a five-year contract with Pro Bowl long snapper Morgan Cox ahead of this week's start of free agency.
Cox, 29, rejoins Pro Bowl punter Sam Koch, who has four years remaining on an $18.5 million contract signed last offseason, and kicker Justin Tucker, who is returning on the franchise tag and could still be signed long term.
"That's obviously ... just a very important signing, because it all starts with the snapper," coach John Harbaugh said Monday at a news conference announcing the three-year contract for cornerback Shareece Wright. "You talk about the kicker, the holder and the punter, and Morgan's been one of the best, if not the best, in the business for a few years now. We're proud to have Morgan, a great family man, great worker, a great person. It's a great plus for us."
Cox has been a mainstay in the Ravens' special teams room since he joined the organization in 2010, only missing time with ACL tears in 2010 and 2014, respectively. But his rehab progressed to the point that the Ravens re-signed him to a one-year deal ahead of the 2015 season, and Cox was selected as one of two "need" players to the 2015 Pro Bowl.
"What Morgan accomplished, after coming off a season-ending injury in 2014, was remarkable," special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg said in a statement. "People who study the game know how good Morgan is, and he was certainly deserving of a Pro Bowl honor last year. His consistency is what makes him a great player, and his role in working with both Sam and Justin is instrumental to the reliability of that trio.
"Morgan is defined by his character and leadership, and he is respected both in our locker room and around the league by his peers."
The Ravens' special teams units ranked first in 2015 rankings by Pro Football Focus and the Dallas Morning News' Rick Gosselin, and mainstay special teamer Albert McClellan was also rewarded with a three-year contract ahead of free agency.
Cox would have been one of the Ravens' 10 unrestricted free agents when the signing period begins Wednesday.
"It continues to be a blessing to play for the best organization in the NFL, and I'm looking forward to spending the next five years in Baltimore surrounded by the greatest teammates, coaching staff, and fans in football," Cox said in a statement. "The Lord has blessed me beyond measure during the last six years, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store."