Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Another big move has been made in free agency, as the Baltimore Ravens have reportedly agreed to sign Earl Thomas to a four-year, $55 million contract.

This is a huge move.

Thomas finally gets the big-money deal he’s been seeking the past couple of years and joins a talented secondary in a division known for its defensive prowess.

But what does it mean for the Ravens?

Filling a need: First of all, it negates the loss of Eric Weddle.

  • As good as he’s been, there’s no denying that his tank is running low at the age of 34.
  • Thomas will slide right into the starting lineup and provide top-level play from the free safety position.

Providing an upgrade: Furthermore, provided Thomas can stay healthy he actually is an upgrade over Weddle in terms of deep safety play — an all-too important key in today’s NFL.

  • One of the best pure coverage safeties the league has seen in a long time, Thomas is a true ball hawk. In 125 career games, he has intercepted 28 passes, returned two for touchdowns, and broken up 67 additional passes.
  • On top of that, Thomas is just simply a playmaker who can impact the game all over the field. He’s forced 11 fumbles, recovered five, and returned one for a touchdown, in his career so far.

Taking the mantle: Thomas is also a leader and should provide a big-time boost on that front to a defense that lost Terrell Suggs, along with Weddle, this winter.

The bottom line: In short, Thomas is exactly what the doctor ordered for a Ravens defense that needed a big shot in the arm this offseason. He will make an immediate, positive impact on this team.