After much intrigue, Ravens re-sign McKinnie

After much intrigue, Ravens re-sign McKinnie
May 2, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Baltimore Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie (78) lines up against the New England Patriots defense in the second quarter of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium.

(Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports)

The Ravens confirmed Thursday that they've reached an agreement to bring back left tackle Bryant McKinnie.

McKinnie and the Ravens have "agreed in principle to a two-year deal," the team said in a press release. That fills one of the biggest holes the team had left in this off-season. 

The Ravens had said several times that they'd be fine with moving Kelechi Osemele to left tackle if needed, and McKinnie apparently talked with the Dolphins and Chargers. While fans seemed worried about who'd be in that position in 2013, the Ravens' front office and coaches projected an image of not being too concerned. 

This will be McKinnie's third year with the Ravens. He didn't start a game in 2012 during the regular season but did play in all 16 and when coach John Harbaugh shook up the offensive line heading into the playoffs, the veteran took on the starting role at left tackle and the offense took off.

In those four playoff wins, the Ravens averaged 410.3 yards of offense and turned in their best performances of the season at just the right time. 

The 33-year old McKinnie has played in 164 career games and started in all 11 playoff game he's been in with the Ravens and Minnesota before that. 

This would seem to let the Ravens put the offensive line together close to where it was in last year's post-season. Osemele can go to left guard, and Marshal Yanda to right guard with Michael Oher at right tackle. Gino Gradkowski appears to have the inside track at center for now, replacing the recently-retired Matt Birk. But he'll have to battle draft pick Ryan Jensen over there in camp.