On the same day that special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg announced his retirement, the Baltimore Ravens made a move to improve the special teams unit. The Ravens reached a deal to bring former Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Justin Bethel to Baltimore. Bethel, 28, was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft. Bethel developed a niche role for the Cardinals and became a prominent special teams player. Between 2013 and 2015, Bethel was selected to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player, and he made the All-Pro list as a special teams player in 2013 and 2015.
Baltimore is committing to special teams at a time where there is some uncertainty in the future. Special teams assistant Chris Horton is set to take over Jerry Rosburg’s position after he retires in June. Rosburg was known as one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL, and his loss will be felt throughout the organization. But as the Ravens move on from Rosburg, the team wants to equip Chris Horton with the tools he needs to put a successful product on the field. For Eric DeCosta and the front office, that means adding Justin Bethel to the roster.
The Baltimore Ravens likely aren’t done in free agency. DeCosta’s strategy as a first-year general manager has been to sit and wait for the right deal, and not to overspend. So far, it has worked out for the Ravens. Although they lost star players in C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs, the Ravens added new stars. Baltimore paid a fair contract to Earl Thomas and got a steal on Mark Ingram. There are rumblings that the Ravens intend to pursue Justin Houston to reload at the edge rusher position, but it is all just rumor and speculation at this point. The Ravens will likely add more players as time goes on, and other teams make difficult salary cap casualty decisions.
According to Kyle J. Andrews of 1057 the Fan, Bethel signed a two-year contract with the Ravens. The monetary details are still unknown.