Pernell McPhee's singular focus on a return to Baltimore came to fruition as the veteran outside linebacker officially signed a one-year deal Tuesday.
McPhee, 32, is entering his 11th season and seventh with the Ravens. The 2011 fifth-round pick played his first four seasons in Baltimore, then returned in 2019. It's his third straight offseason signing a one-year deal with the Ravens.
With Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue reportedly leaving in free agency and Tyus Bowser still on the open market, retaining McPhee helps solidify the outside linebacker position. Jaylon Ferguson was the only outside linebacker from last year's 53-man roster under contract.
McPhee wasn't stressing his situation as a pending free agent this offseason. He figured a reunion with the Ravens was in the cards.
"Of course, the plan is to come back to Baltimore and continue to play some ball, help win a championship and build a dynasty," McPhee said last week. "That's the goal. Myself and my agent haven't really talked about it yet. I've been chilling, taking care of my body. I'll think about things, but my thought is really just on coming back."
McPhee proved he had plenty left last season, finishing with the most tackles (34) and most quarterback hits (15) he's had since 2015 when he was with the Chicago Bears. He started 13 games, missed just one while on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, and played 46 percent of the Ravens' defensive snaps.
McPhee didn't wear down as the season progressed, and he said he felt the best he had all year in the playoffs. McPhee was a huge part of the Ravens bottling up 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry in Tennessee, and he got a sack in the season-ending playoff loss against the Buffalo Bills.
"I think I had a good season on film, but on the stat sheet, I wish I could've finished more plays," McPhee said. "I've never been a big stat guy, but I'd like to get my numbers up. I've got to get more than three sacks. I've got to get at least five or six."
McPhee won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2012 and he has wanted to get back there ever since. He isn't thinking about retiring any time soon.
"I leave things in God's hands, but I have in my mind that I have two or three more productive years left," McPhee said. "It's going to take hard work, but I'm up for it.
"I don't care if somebody gets 25 sacks. That's a great achievement, but it's not like winning a championship. Going undefeated in the regular season is great, but if you don't win the Super Bowl, it doesn't matter. I just want to get that Super Bowl feeling again."