It was seven years ago on March 4 that the Baltimore Ravens went in a different direction at outside linebacker. The Ravens re-signed Jarret Johnson to a three-year, $13 million contract on the same day that Adalius Thomas reached a five-year, $37.5 million deal with the New England Patriots.
This decision was expected because the Ravens didn't have the money to pay both Thomas and Terrell Suggs. So, the Ravens filled Thomas' starting spot with Johnson, who was a blue-collar special-teams player at that point in his career.
In five seasons as a starter, Johnson never missed a game (80 straight starts). Never a Pro Bowl player, Johnson handled all of the dirty work on defense, sacrificing his body to set the edge against the run.
Thomas lasted three seasons with the Patriots, getting released by New England after the 2009 season.