Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Ravens Re-sign OL James Hurst, Release DB Lardarius Webb

Ravens Re-sign OL James Hurst, Release DB Lardarius Webb

The Baltimore Ravens signed offensive lineman James Hurst to a four-year contract Monday, keeping him off the free agent market while providing stability in front of quarterback Joe Flacco.

The Ravens announced the Hurst signing just after the legal tampering window opened at noon today. With starting guards Marshal Yanda and Alex Lewis expected back after season-ending injuries past year, right tackle Austin Howard's future with the team could now be in jeopardy.

Hurst started all last season at left guard after an injury sidelined Alex Lewis during the preseason, and before Lewis' injury, Hurst appeared in line to be the starting right tackle.

If he moves back to tackle, it would leave current starter Austin Howard on the outside looking in.

The Ravens also have Matt Skura, who started 12 games at right guard last season after Yanda went down, and 2017 fourth-round pick Nico Siragusa, who missed his entire rookie season after tearing up his knee in training camp A 2017 fifth-round pick, Jermaine Eluemunor also is probably better suited at guard than tackle. But Webb's role was diminished once cornerback Maurice Canady returned from injured reserve; Webb averaged seven defensive snaps throughout the final four games of the season. He made one start at right tackle the previous season.

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The 32-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Nicholls State, was originally selected by Baltimore in the third round (88th pick overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. Webb finished the year with two interceptions and a forced fumble for a unit that led the National Football League in interceptions and total takeaways.

Viewed as a rising star of the Ravens' defense as his first contract wound down, Webb was signed to a $50 million extension in 2012.

Webb was cut last offseasonbut re-signed with the team about a month later. He has never missed a game as a pro, seeing action in 64 consecutive contests, including 32 starts. According to OvertheCap.com, Howard is set to make $5 million against the salary cap in 2018; the Ravens would save $3 million if he's cut.

Starting center Ryan Jensen is a pending free agent.

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