In what is being dubbed as yet another “classic Ozzie” signing, the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms with former Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode.
His deal, which is being reported at a maximum of $3 million dollars, is contingent on him passing a physical.
Gurode, 33, adds much needed depth and stability at the center position. The 6-foot-4, 318-pound center is highly renowned among his peers, as Gurode came in as the leagues 57th-top rated player in the NFL Network’s players Top 100 this past season.
Starting center Matt Birk, who did not take one single snap this preseason after having knee surgery August 3rd, was absent in the Ravens only team practice since the preseason finale.
After the Cowboys and Gurode failed to restructure his contract, the team felt they had no choice but to release the 5-time Pro Bowler. By cutting Gurode the Cowboys saved $5.5 million against the salary cap.
The 10-year veteran has proven to be very durable throughout his career, since entering the league Gurode has started 122 career games, including every game in each of the past three seasons.
For all of training camp and preseason, Bryan Mattison, a converted defensive lineman has been pressed into action as the Ravens starting center.
Last week Birk said he planned to start against the Pittsburgh Steelers September 11th, stating this about his surgically repaired knee:
“Like I said, it feels good now,” Birk said Aug. 29. “But who knows what is going to happen? It’s a long season. A lot of things happen. Hopefully, the worst is behind me.”
At this point, with the latest news of the Gurode signing, Birk’s status appears “iffy” at best.
For what it’s worth, the 35-year-old Birk has not missed a game since 2005.