The Ravens signed six-year veteran quarterback Caleb Hanie Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Hanie was a four-year backup for the Chicago Bears, and then sat behind Denver quarterback Peyton Manning last season.
Ravens coaches felt like adding another quarterback to the roster at the start of the offseason program was critical so he could learn the entire offense early, and also provide depth behind Joe Flacco and backup Tyrod Taylor.
"A conversation with [Offensive Coordinator] Jim Caldwell and the offensive coaches probably led to that more than anything," Head Coach John Harbaugh said at Tuesday's pre-draft press conference. "We felt like it would be important to bring a quarterback in at this point in time, in order to learn the offense from the ground up."
Hanie started four games in 2011 when Bears quarterback Jay Cutler went down with an injury. Chicago lost all four of those games, and Hanie was eventually replaced by Josh McCown.
Even though Hanie didn't notch any victories, his 59 passes (50.9 completion percentage) for 679 yards, three touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 10 career games can be valuable experience going forward.
Harbaugh believes the former Colorado State Rams quarterback possesses the skills and talent that could be further developed in the right system.
"He's a talented guy," Harbaugh said. "He's played in games, maybe hasn't been in the ideal situation for him yet, but, based on the evaluation of our pro department with [Director of Pro Personnel] Vince Newsome and our coaches, they feel like he fits us pretty well, so, I'm looking forward to seeing him."
Similarly, the Ravens added a third quarterback, Curtis Painter, to last year's roster in mid-April to provide depth and competition. Painter offered another arm during the preseason and training camp, but was released after the final preseason game.
The Ravens opted to stick with two quarterbacks on the roster – Flacco has never missed a game in his five-year career – and the team was able to use the open spot on another position.
However, Harbaugh said there's a possibility of keeping three quarterbacks on the roster in 2013.
"Yes, we are open to having three quarterbacks on the 53 [man roster]," he said. "I don't know him that well personally, but I can't wait to get to know him as a player and if he fits the bill, he could be our third quarterback."