The Baltimore Ravens needed to add depth at outside linebacker after the injury to Terrell Suggs. Suggs suffered a season ending injury against the Denver Broncos when he tore his Achilles. Jason Babin was brought in for a workout along with Shaun Phillips while the team was in San Jose, California preparing for their next game in Oakland against the Raiders.
Babin impressed the team during the workout and they signed the veteran to a one year deal. The signing will give the team a player that has plenty of experience in the 3-4 defense. Babin was selected in the first round (27th overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles before finding success with the Tennessee Titans in 2010.
While with the Titans, Babin registered 12.5 sacks and two forced fumbles which led to his first Pro Bowl appearance. He then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, posting a career high 18 sacks during the 2011 season, his second season being selected to the Pro Bowl. Babin spent two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being claimed off of waivers in 2012. He started four games for the New York Jets last season and had two sacks.
The 11 year veteran has 64½ career sacks. The signing will allow the Ravens to continue to use a rotation at outside linebacker. Courtney Upshaw will continue to man the strong side and set the edge in likely run situations. Elvis Dumervil was slotted to become the starter at the rush outside linebacker position vacated by Suggs’ injury. It remains to be seen how that will work out with the addition of Babin.
Rookie Za’Darius Smith was not active for the Broncos game because the team desired speed on special teams. It is likely that Smith will be active this week, but that will depend in part on the return of running back Lorenzo Taliaferro and how the team addresses special teams coverage. Babin not only gives the team depth, he also gives them a veteran that a rookie like Smith can learn the ‘ins and outs’ of adjusting to a new position in the NFL.
If active, Smith can rush the passer from both sides and team with Babin to take care of the rush linebacker position. This would allow the team to maintain the combination of Upshaw on rushing downs and Dumervil as a pass rush specialist on passing downs.