The Ravens have made a move to bolster their depth behind Ed Reed, signing free safety Ken Hamlin to a one-year deal, according to ESPN.
The team also announced that they have waived five young players: DB Brad Jones, DB Ashton Hall, CB Courtney Smith, DL John Fletcher and OL Daniel Sanders.
Hamlin, 29, is a seven-year veteran who played the last three years with the Cowboys. He is known a big open-field hitter, and has lots of experience, having started all but two of the 98 games that he has played in his career.
Ravens officials expect Reed, their six-time Pro Bowl free safety, to be back healthy at the start of the season, but GM Ozzie Newsome clearly wants to have an insurance policy in place in case Reed has continued health issues with his hip or neck.
Hamlin auditioned for the Ravens last week, along with cornerbacks Ken Lucas and Walt Harris.
Fletcher is the most surprising name among the five cuts; the defensive lineman was considered by some (myself included) as a guy to watch in training camp because of his pass rushing ability. He posted seven sacks at Wyoming last year.
Hall and Smith (from Marshall and Central Washington, respectively) both were signed shortly after the draft, while Jones joined the Ravens exactly a month ago after a successful tryout during the opening minicamp.
Sanders is the only player among the cuts that was not signed as an undrafted free agent; he spent time with the Rams last season and signed a reserve/future contract with the Ravens in January.
By releasing the five young players, the Ravens aren't only opening up room on the roster for Hamlin and possibly another veteran defensive back, they're also getting a head start on some cuts which will need to be made before their draft picks are signed.
Although the Ravens' six draft picks participated in OTAs for the last month and a half, they aren't technically on the team's roster until they sign their contract.