While Birk is aging and isn't the player he used to be, he is still the Ravens' best option in 2012.
Re-signing him offers the Ravens more flexibility with their offensive line. Had Birk signed elsewhere, the Ravens would have been forced to replace both Birk and Ben Grubbs, but with Birk's imminent return, the Ravens can relax a bit.
The Ravens actually could have been forced into starting a rookie at center had Birk signed elsewhere, which is a far from ideal situation. The Ravens value veteran players, especially when they are so close to a championship.
In other offensive line news, Eagles guard Evan Mathis is mulling over a contract offer from the Ravens.
Though older than Ben Grubbs, Mathis is almost as solid of a player, and he should come at a much more affordable rate than Grubbs, especially in terms of guaranteed money.
If these potential signings go through, the Ravens offensive line could be in solid shape in 2012. The transition from Grubbs to Mathis would be seamless, and the rest of the unit will have even more chemistry after an offseason to work together.
This would allow the Ravens to focus on building depth, rather than finding starters, through free agency and the draft.
While Eric Winston remains a possibility for the Ravens, they can focus their attention on drafting future replacements for Bryant McKinnie and Birk.
All in all, if Birk truly re-signs and the Ravens snag Mathis, Ravens fans can feel confident in their offensive line for the first time in years.