The Ravens have officially signed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee to a one-year deal, fortifying the edge of their front seven after coming out of the draft without an edge rusher.
The two sides agreed to a deal last week and finalized it Tuesday. To make room on the 90-man roster, the Ravens waived reserve wide receiver Sean Modster.
After being drafted by the Ravens and playing four strong seasons (2011-2014), McPhee returned to Baltimore last season, also on a one-year deal. He was off to a strong start with 19 tackles and three sacks in seven games before suffering a season-ending torn triceps.
McPhee started all seven games last season and could do so again this year if needed. Given the COVID-19 altered offseason, it's especially valuable to bring back a player who knows the system and can step in and contribute immediately.
Jaylon Ferguson stepped into McPhee's starting role last year and played well, and the Ravens will want to allow their rising sophomore to continue his growth. Using McPhee in rotation with Ferguson can help cut down on the 10-year veteran's snaps and keep him healthier.
Considering the Ravens didn't select an outside linebacker in this year's draft, there was a need for more depth to join Matthew Judon, Ferguson and Tyus Bowser.
McPhee's impact goes beyond the stats, as the 31-year-old Super Bowl winner is also a respected leader in the locker room, devoted worker in practice and rugged player on the field. He will be a great role model for the team's younger defenders, including rookie inside linebackers Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison.
The Ravens did add undrafted pass rusher Chauncey Rivers from Mississippi State, the same school McPhee attended. They also both transferred to Mississippi State from community college, and it would not be at all surprising to see McPhee take him under his wing.
Over his nine seasons with the Ravens, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins, McPhee has logged 212 tackles and 34 sacks. He was on pace for a resurgent season last year, and the Ravens hope he can get back on that same path again.