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James Ihedigbo Signing With Detroit

Posted Mar 24, 2014

Former Ravens safety James Ihedigbo will join former Ravens Secondary Coach Teryl Austin.


James Ihedigbo is at last headed to Detroit.

After visiting the Lions during the first week of free agency, Ihedigbo announced that he agreed to a deal with Detroit late Monday night. It's a two-year deal, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“It's agreed upon! I'm a @DetroitLionsNFL,” Ihedigbo tweeted. “I'm excited for what's ahead and helping this team achieve greatness!!! #HeartOfALion #LionsNation”

The move reunites him with former Ravens Secondary Coach Teryl Austin, who is now the Lions’ defensive coordinator.

It was reported that the Ravens kept in contact with Ihedigbo, but Baltimore signed free agent strong safety Darian Stewart instead last Friday.

Ihedigbo, 30, spent two seasons with the Ravens. In 2012, he helped them win Super Bowl XLVII as a backup safety and special teamer. Last season, he won a starting job and logged a career-high 101 tackles, 11 pass deflections and three interceptions.

Ihedigbo was a leader in the locker room and on the field. He was a hard-hitting, passionate and smart player in the back end of the defense.

But after the season ended, General Manager Ozzie Newsome expressed a desire to get a more athletic playmaking safety to pair with last year’s first-round pick Matt Elam. The Ravens would like to move Elam to his natural position at strong safety and find a new free safety.

Baltimore’s other safeties on the roster are Stewart, Brynden Trawick and exclusive rights free agents Omar Brown and Anthony Levine. Trawick, Brown and Levine are more known for their special teams work.

The Ravens will likely look to the free agent market, where there is a shrinking number of possibilities, or the draft to find their starting free safety.

Among the free agents still available are Atlanta’s Thomas DeCoud, Miami’s Chris Clemons, Oakland’s Charles Woodson or Denver’s Champ Bailey. Projected first-round free safeties include Alabama’s Ha’Sean “Ha Ha” Clinton-Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor.

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