Now that veteran cornerback Cassius Vaughn has joined the Ravens on a one-year, $825,000 contract, he's intent on proving that he's a worthy investment.
Vaughn, 27, flew to Baltimore on Thursday night from his hometown in Memphis, Tenn., passed a physical and signed his contract.
"It's a great opportunity," Vaughn told The Baltimore Sun. "It's a blessing that the front office gave me this chance and let me become a Raven. I've been watching them for so long. It's a steady consistency and a great organization."
With the Ravens, Vaughn is expected to compete with Asa Jackson, Rashaan Melvin, Tray Walker and Chris Greenwood for playing time and a roster spot behind starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb and nickel back Kyle Arrington. With Vaughn joining the team and undrafted rookie cornerback Julian Wilson being placed on injured reserve after clearing waivers after being waived-injured Thursday, the Ravens are at the NFL roster limit of 90 players.
Vaughn has played five NFL seasons and intercepted seven passes with two returned for touchdowns. A 5-foot-11, 195-pound former undrafted free agent from Mississippi, Vaughn played last season for the Detroit Lions. He started five of 13 games and intercepted two passes and made 18 tackles.
"I bring my own type of savvy and knowing the game a little bit," Vaughn said. "I'm still one of those guys who's got a lot of prove. I don't feel like I've necessarily got it all down yet. I've always got a chip on my shoulder.
"This group has a lot of fight in them. I love the way Lardarius plays. I like his game a lot. I'm just trying to add to it and learn from those guys and the coaching staff. It's going to be fun."
Signed to a contract that includes a $745,000 base salary, a $50,000 bonus for making the 53-man roster and a $30,000 bonus for playing 37 percent of the defensive snaps, Vaughn is hoping to have an impact.
"I'm just glad to be around the guys," Vaughn said. "I want to get in there and take care of business. I hope I can learn a lot of stuff and teach somebody, too. I want to learn and keep it fresh. I'm joining a unit that's ready to roll and likes to compete and expectations are going to be high.
"I know a Super Bowl is the expectation here. I'm trying to help them out at that spot and keep on moving. That's the ultimate goal. It's expected from the type of tradition they have there."
He was teammates with Ravens Pro Bowl outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil with the Denver Broncos before Vaughn was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. Vaughn and Dumervil have remained friends.
Vaughn, who has 142 career tackles and a forced fumble, played last season for former Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin, the Lions' defensive coordinator. There should be some overlap with what Austin taught from his background with the Ravens.
"I'm just going in with open eyes and open arms and trying to figure it out and get the scheme down and try to understand as much as I can," Vaughn said. "There could be a few things that are the same, but, whatever it is, I'm just excited. I'm glad to be around the guys and be around the coaching staff. It's going to be a nice process and I'm looking forward to it."