Pernell McPhee, Ravens Agree to New Contract; Totaled 3 Sacks in 2019

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee runs on the field in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday that veteran outside linebacker Pernell McPhee had re-signed with the team on a one-year deal. 

McPhee, 31, spent his first four seasons (2011-14) with the Ravens before stints with the Chicago Bears (2015-17) and Washington (2018). He returned to Baltimore last season, notching 19 tackles (seven for loss) and three sacks in seven games. 

Jamison Hensley @jamisonhensley

Ravens announce they've re-signed OLB Pernell McPhee to a one-year deal. McPhee was having a resurgent season in return to Baltimore last season before missing final 9 games with torn triceps. He recorded 19 tackles and 3 sacks (2nd-most on team at time) in the first 6 games.

Jeff Zrebiec @jeffzrebiec

Ravens hadn't signed an edge rusher in free agency and they didn't draft one either. So McPhee, if healthy, figures to share that rush LB spot with Jaylon Ferguson and Jihad Ward. And Matthew Judon and Tyus Bowser will be on the other side.

For his career, he's totaled 34 sacks. His best season came with the Ravens in 2014, when he registered 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. 

Sacking the quarterback consistently remains one of the only needs for the stacked Ravens. Matthew Judon led the team with 9.5 sacks last season, with no other player exceeding five sacks. The team's 37 sacks in total was 21st in the NFL.

The team will be hoping that young players like Jaylon Ferguson (three sacks last year) and Tyus Bowser (five sacks) make jumps in 2020. Jihad Ward (one sack) should also get snaps, but having depth pieces off the edge like McPhee to complement star Matthew Judon will certainly help. 

Granted, Baltimore's mediocre sack totals from a year ago didn't have an adverse effect on their pass defense, which gave up just 207.2 yards per game last year, sixth in the NFL. The Ravens also held opposing quarterbacks to a 58.5 completion percentage, second in the NFL behind only the New England Patriots (56.5). 

The team's deep group of edge-rushers wasn't a hindrance, but getting solid production from McPhee and more consistency from the team's younger pass-rushers will be key for their Super Bowl aspirations in 2020.