The Baltimore Ravens are taking a small gamble when it comes to the backup nose tackle position.
The Ravens announced Monday that they have signed Broncos free agent Ryan McBean, who has been suspended six games by the NFL for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. If the Ravens lose Terrence Cody for an extended period, they will have to turn to either McBean (who could be suspended until Oct. 14) or Maake Kemoeatu (who hasn't played a game since December 2010). Cody started all 16 games for the Ravens last season.
McBean is fighting the suspension and has filed a lawsuit against the NFL for mishandling the drug test. The reason the Ravens are giving McBean a second chance is because he's only 28, has experience as a starter (21 starts the past three seasons) and recorded a career-high four sacks last season.
The Broncos rescinded McBean's restricted free-agent tender last month after they signed former Ravens defensive tackle Justin Bannan. Baltimore has had to search for depth at this spot since losing Brandon McKinney to Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts.
In other Ravens news, the team announced cornerback Cary Williams signed his second-round restricted free-agent tender of $1.9 million. Baltimore is interested in signing Williams to a long-term deal. It's unknown when Williams plans to participate in the team's offseason workout program after undergoing offseason hip surgery. He was the Ravens' last restricted free agent to sign his tender.