Chris Canty provides much-needed experience to Ravens' defensive line

The re-signing of defensive end Chris Canty to a two-year deal on Wednesday amounts to veteran insurance. The Baltimore Ravens can turn to the nine-year starter if young players such as Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore don't rebound from injuries or fail to establish themselves.

The Ravens have promising talent on the defensive front, but they found themselves thin at experience a week into free agency. Canty was released for cap reasons (freed up $2.66 million of space), Haloti Ngata was traded to the Detroit Lions and valuable backup Lawrence Guy is a free agent.

That left the Ravens with eight defensive lineman who have 24 career starts and have an average age of 24.3 years:

Brandon Williams (26 years old): 14 career starts

Timmy Jernigan (22 years old): Three career starts

Brent Urban (23 years old): No games played

DeAngelo Tyson (25 years old): Six career starts

Christo Bilukidi (25 years old): No starts

Kapron Lewis-Moore (25 years old): No games played

Casey Walker (25 years old): One career start

Zach Thompson (24 years old): No games played

In comparison, Canty has made 119 career starts and is 32 years old. He was solid against the run last season, and he is a positive influence in the locker room. Canty became one of the strongest voices on the Ravens in just two years with the team.

Canty has something to prove coming off one of his worst seasons. He didn't record a full sack for the first time since 2009, and he was limited to playing 31.6 percent of the defensive snaps because of wrist and ankle injures.

As a free agent, Canty drew interest from the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks. He ultimately decided to return at a discounted price to the Ravens, where he takes back his leadership role.

"The opportunity presented itself a couple of days ago, so I thought about things and thought about some of the offers that I had on the open market, and Baltimore really stepped up with a solid offer,” Canty said. “They wanted me back, and I wanted to be back, so it just made sense.”