Ravens cornerback Corey Graham won’t return to the team in 2014.
Instead, the free agent has agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, as reported by several outlets on Wednesday.
Since joining the Ravens in 2012, Graham quietly flew under the radar in a Ravens secondary that featured Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith. He came to Baltimore eager to get the chance to play regularly as a defender, after being pigeonholed as a special teamer in Chicago.
In 2013, Graham played in all 16 games including five starts while leading the team with a career-high four interceptions.
The Ravens nickel corner also recorded 68 tackles including 51 solo tackles, a career-high 12 passes defended, one forced fumble and one sack playing in 651 defensive snaps.
Graham’s performance on defense and his history on special teams ultimately paved his way into a starting job in Buffalo in 2014. His 109-consecutive games played remains the second-longest active streak by an NFL cornerback and he’ll look to extend it in Buffalo this Fall.
While the Ravens would have liked to keep Graham in Baltimore, they knew he would more than likely command bigger money than they were able to offer.
During the Ravens’ season ending locker room interviews, Graham acknowledged to the media he would have liked to stay in Baltimore; however, understands it was out of his control.
“Yes, I would like to be here. When you win a Super Bowl somewhere, you get the opportunity to play somewhere, and things start to go well for you, you want to be in the place where they gave you opportunities,” Graham stated to the team’s website in December.
“It’s a good organization; they gave me a chance to play. When I first came here, all I said was that I wanted an opportunity – they did that. I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve gotten here.”
The loss of Graham will mean the Ravens will now have another void to fill at the nickel corner position. It is likely the Ravens will look to Asa Jackson or perhaps spend a draft pick to fill the vacant position
Jackson, the Ravens’ 2012 fifth-round draft pick played in just four games on special teams after being activated to the 53-man roster following his eight games suspension by the NFL for violating the PED policy.
The Ravens stuck by Jackson and now it’s Asa’s turn to return the favor.
As for Graham, we wish him all the best. We’ll always remember him fondly for those two key interceptions of Peyton Manning in the playoff game in Denver in 2012.
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