Jake Long provides much-needed insurance and experience for Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens solidified one area of weakness just before the start of training camp, when they reached an agreement with former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long on Tuesday.

Long, 31, becomes an insurance policy behind first-round pick Ronnie Stanley, who is expected to start at left tackle, and provides much-needed experience at the backup offensive tackle position. Before adding Long, Baltimore's top reserves at offensive tackle were James Hurst, who struggled when forced to start last season; Alex Lewis, a rookie fourth-round pick; and De'Ondre Wesley, who has lined up for a total of six offensive snaps.

There was a need to bring in a veteran offensive tackle after the Ravens decided to cut Eugene Monroe, who subsequently retired. The big question with Long is his durability after multiple ACL tears and surgeries. He only played four games for the Atlanta Falcons last season and hasn't started a game since October 2014.

Long, who went to four Pro Bowls, believes not playing much last season will help him this year.

"I'm finally healthy," Long told ESPN last month. "This is the healthiest and best I've felt in probably about five, six years. My knee's back. I've just been working out, feeling good and ready for the opportunity when it comes along."

The Ravens had to upgrade the backup spot, especially after what happened last season. After Monroe left a game with an injury, Hurst was pushed back into Joe Flacco's left leg, which tore two knee ligaments and forced season-ending surgery for the quarterback. Baltimore was so desperate last season that it moved Kelechi Osemele from left guard to tackle to finish the season.

There shouldn't be as much concern at left tackle with Long, who has a connection with the Harbaugh family. He coached the Big Man camp at the University of Michigan, where Jim Harbaugh is the head coach. Now, Long will look to help Ravens coach John Harbaugh.