Bulger retires, leaving Ravens in need of new backup QB

As NFL free agents hopped from one team to another over the last week, there had been very little talk about veteran quarterback Marc Bulger.

Turns out, that's because Bulger has opted to retire.

The Ravens' backup quarterback has decided to step away from the game after 11 seasons and two Pro Bowl appearances. Bulger earned $3.8 million as the Ravens' backup to Joe Flacco last season, but he decided to end his NFL career instead of pursuing another contract.

Bulger didn't throw a single pass for the Ravens last year, but he gave the Ravens a proven option had Flacco gotten hurt.

The 34-year-old's retirement leaves the Ravens in search of a new backup signal caller. The options on the free agent market are somewhat limited - Todd Collins, Brodie Croyle, Jake Delhomme, J.P Losman, J.T. O'Sullivan, Patrick Ramsey, Chris Simms and Jim Sorgi are the veteran quarterbacks still available.

The Ravens' in-house options to back up are Tyrod Taylor, drafted this year in the sixth round, and Hunter Cantwell, who spent last season on the practice squad.

Asked yesterday about Taylor's progression early on in training camp, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron gave the young quarterback a ringing endorsement, but admitted that it might be tough for the Ravens to go with him as Flacco's backup this season.

"We have us a good, young quarterback and I won't back up on that," Cameron said. "I just have so much confidence in the people we draft, and they've done it again. They have found another extremely bright, talented, young quarterback. This kid, again, is he going to be backing up this year? I am not saying that because we don't know. That may not be in our - or his - best interest. Wait until you get to know that young man. He is special."

The good news in all of this is that the Ravens haven't truly needed a backup quarterback since Flacco has come on as the starter. In Flacco's three years as the Ravens QB, he hasn't missed a single game due to injury.

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