Corey Graham said all along he was hoping to find a team that would provide an opportunity for him to play some defense.
The Baltimore Ravens are offering that and they certainly need Graham for help on special teams. The Ravens are down three of their top special teamers since free agency opened and they get one of the best in the NFL by agreeing to terms with Graham on a two-year contract.
The Ravens lost Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura in free agency and linebacker Brendon Ayanbedajo is a free agent. Graham represented the Chicago Bears in the Pro Bowl this past year and he has 75 special teams tackles since 2007, ranking him third in the NFL.
The Bears maintained a small hope that Graham would return but a day after a visit to the Detroit Lions, he chose the Ravens.
“I believe it's a better situation for me and a better opportunity with a fresh start,” Graham said. “I gave the Bears every opportunity but they moved on. All around, Baltimore is just a better deal for me and my family.”
Graham had three interceptions for the Bears in three consecutive games this past season when he got action as the nickel cornerback. He’s only 26 and with the two-year deal he will have an opportunity to explore the market again soon.
The Bears have already made moves to cover themselves on special teams by signing linebacker Blake Costanzo and wide receiver Eric Weems.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune