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Baltimore Ravens

Ravens reportedly re-sign defensive linemen Jihad Ward, Justin Ellis

The Ravens have re-signed defensive end Jihad Ward and defensive tackle Justin Ellis, according to media reports.

Ward, 25, whose extension was first reported by The Athletic, signed with the Ravens in early October last season, shortly after being released by the Indianapolis Colts. The former second-round draft pick became an important piece in the defense’s front seven, helping to set the edge against the run, moving inside on obvious passing downs and occasionally dropping into coverage.

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In 11 games, the 6-foot-5, 287-pound Ward finished with seven tackles, four quarterback hits and a sack, and he played more than 50% of the Ravens’ defensive snaps in all but two appearances.

Ellis signed a one-year extension, according to the NFL Network. Released by the Oakland Raiders in early October, he joined the Ravens in mid-November after defensive tackle Michael Pierce suffered an ankle injury. The 29-year-old was inactive for three games and had six tackles in four games.

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Foot and knee injuries hampered the 6-foot-2, 350-pound Ellis in Oakland, which took him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. But he graded out well in run defense last season, according to Pro Football Focus. With Michael Pierce expected to leave in free agency, the Ravens need another big body behind defensive tackle Brandon Williams.

Along the defensive line, the team has also agreed to a trade for Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell and agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers. Defensive tackle Domata Peko Sr., another midseason acquisition by the Ravens, is a pending free agent.


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