After being released by the Steelers in May, nickel cornerback Arthur Maulet will bring added intensity to the Ravens-Steelers rivalry this season.
"It's circled on my calendar for sure," Maulet said.
Maulet talked about the circumstances that led to him being released by Pittsburgh with one year remaining on his contract. According to reports, there was a difference of opinion regarding Maulet’s contract.
"I'm a vet, year No. 7," Maulet said. "I just wanted a little something, a little security. I think I earned that. Baltimore gave me that, which was surprising that it was a rivalry team. Obviously, they believe in me. That just makes me feel good about the work I put in this offseason."
Per OvertheCap.com, Maulet's one-year deal with the Ravens, which he signed in late July, included $220,000 of fully guaranteed money.
Maulet could see extensive action as a nickel cornerback, particularly with Pepe Williams recovering from ankle surgery. The 30-year-old Maulet suffered an untimely hamstring injury shortly after signing with the Ravens and was worried that being sidelined might cost him a roster spot. Now that he's healthy and on the 53-man roster, Maulet wants to show the Ravens that sticking with him was the right decision.
"Blessed, because I didn't play any preseason games," Maulet said. "I'm a tough guy, I kind of fit the scheme, I like the way their defense is set up. I think I'm going to thrive in it. I can't wait to get out there and play.
"I think I'm going to be based more in the nickel, in the inside. That's where I make my money. I'm ready to go Week 1. I'm just grateful for them to honestly believe in my talents and the way I play. I learned the playbook pretty fast. I'm a downhill guy, aggressive nickel back. I think I fit the scheme perfectly."
John Harbaugh Says Ben Cleveland's Consistency Earned Him a Roster Spot
There was stiff competition to make Baltimore's roster as a backup offensive lineman, and Ben Cleveland earned his spot. A third-round pick in 2021, Cleveland has yet to secure a starting job, but the massive 6-foot-5, 257-guard has played in 21 games and stepped in for five starts during his first two seasons, and Harbaugh sees positive steps.
"The biggest thing with Ben is that he was able to be out there every day," Harbaugh said. "He made the strides and not just in one area – pretty much across the board. In the past, he's been in-and-out, in-and-out with different kinds of injuries. He stacked all those days in training camp, and then turn on the game film when you watch it. He played well, and he blocked people – run and pass. That's the bottom line. All the work he put in – it showed up in the games and he played well."
Harbaugh Pleased With Composition of Practice Squad
The Ravens signed 15 players to their initial practice squad Wednesday and Harbaugh was pleased with the talent they were able to keep. Four of the Ravens' six 2023 draft picks made the initial 53-man roster, with seventh-round guard Andrew Vorhees landing on the reserve/NFL list as expected.
Harbaugh mentioned center Sam Mustipher as one of the young practice squad players he was glad to see remain in Baltimore after passing through waivers.
"There's a lot of strategy that goes into it, and you have to extrapolate a little bit in terms of what might happen or what might not happen and try to keep as many of the players that you want – as many players as you can," Harbaugh said. "We were able to do that in the O-line. The key guy there being Sam, right? For him to still be here and be prepped for providing us depth at center like he does – that kind of a player – that's a huge win for us."
Ravens rookie cornerback Kyu Kelly was claimed by the Seahawks after being part of Tuesday's roster cuts. Baltimore drafted Kelly in the fifth round out of Stanford, but he had an up-and-down training camp and preseason.
"We were hoping to get Kyu to the practice squad," Harbaugh said. "I'm sure he would've come to the practice squad. He was very happy here, but what an opportunity for him to go to Seattle and be on the 53. I texted him. I'm really happy for him, and we'll be pulling for him."
In another transaction, former Ravens offensive lineman Trystan Colon was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals after being released by the Jets.
Tylan Wallace Sweated Out Roster Cuts in Parking Lot
Tylan Wallace was the Ravens' top wide receiver during the preseason and he's also a special teams standout. However, Wallace didn't take making the 53-man roster for granted. As Tuesday's deadline to reach 53 players approached, Wallace was sitting in his car at the practice facility sweating it out.
"I figured if nobody said anything, I figured I was good," Wallace said. "I was in my car and waited until it hit four (o'clock) and I said 'alright, I'm good.' Then I drove home."
After the Ravens signed Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor and drafted Zay Flowers, Wallace knew making the roster wouldn't be easy, but he wasn't deterred.
"You see them bringing guys in. You know obviously that means there's only so many spots left," Wallace said. "That's always a little bit stressful, but I also look at it as a challenge."