The Baltimore Ravens still have Haloti Ngata on their roster, along with Lardarius Webb. That also means that several of their pieces are no longer with the team, some of them even finding new homes recently.
Baltimore has remained one of the better defenses in the league over the years because of their ability to find versatile players at every level. One of those players just landed a big deal with the Chicago Bears, Pernell McPhee signed a five year deal worth $40 million. In terms of guaranteed money, it’s been reported that it’s roughly $16 million.
On the national scene, the signing may come at a surprise. Probably even causing casual fans to use the good old google machine to see who McPhee is. For a team that is transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense, his versatility will be a blessing to a team that doesn’t have any players in defined roles.
The 26-year-old is a violent pass rusher, whether he’s coming from the outside linebacker position (standing up) or from a defensive end position (hand in the dirt). It remains to be seen how many of the Bears defensive players will be able to transition and produce in the 3-4 defense. If new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio stays true to what he did during his tenure in San Francisco, there will be opportunities for McPhee to line up all over the field in different packages, especially the sub packages.
The Bears don’t appear to be done as several reports state that they are going to pursue linebacker Mason Foster and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.
McPhee isn’t the only former Raven set to play for a new team in 2015, wideout Jacoby Jones. The exceptional kick and punt returner landed a two year deal with the San Diego Chargers, which means he will be staying in the AFC. What led to him being released? Outside of the Ravens being strapped for cash due to Ngata and Webb’s cap hit this season, Jones never really caught on as a receiver. It was hard to justify his pay being that he only excelled as a returner, virtually a specialist.