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.

Jesse Reed
Managing Editor at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.