2012 NFL Free Agency: Ravens Sign Quarterback Curtis Painter

Field YatesCorrespondent IIIApril 19, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 27:  Curtis Painter #7 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens have come to terms with free-agent quarterback Curtis Painter, the team announced on Thursday.  

Originally a 2009 sixth-round draft pick of the Colts, Painter spent his first three NFL seasons in Indianapolis, serving as Peyton Manning's backup for each of the first two.

He got a shot at starting in 2011 after Manning went down, and the Kerry Collins experiment imploded. He did little to strike confidence in the Colts' brass that he was anything more than an average (or worse) backup.

So why the shot at new life in Baltimore? Two reasons: competition and familiarity.

Painter was part of a three-man tryout on Wednesday that included Dennis Dixon and Kyle Boller, which essentially amounted to picking the best of a bad bunch.  

However, Jim Caldwell (now the Ravens' quarterback coach) coached and tutored Painter in Indianapolis, which should explain the Ravens' insistence on taking a flier on the 26-year-old.

The role for Painter in Baltimore will be to compete with Tyrod Taylor to be Joe Flacco's primary reserve. Taylor offers a more dynamic package with his ability to improvise with his feet, but the Ravens may not be entirely convinced due to his lack of experience in the NFL. (Although the team has previously indicated that they really like him.

Nonetheless, quarterback depth and competition is a staple of NFL training camps, and Painter may not be the only signal-caller the Ravens add before they get back to work in late July.