Ex-New York Giants guard Kevin Zeitler agrees to 3-year deal with Baltimore Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Guard Kevin Zeitler has agreed to a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens, the team announced Monday.

The deal is worth $22 million and includes $16 million in guarantees, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Zeitler, 31, was signed hours before the start of the NFL's negotiating window for free agents because he was cut last week by the New York Giants.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said one of the major priorities this offseason was to improve the pass protection for quarterback Lamar Jackson, and he backed that up with Baltimore's first free-agent signing. Last season, Baltimore allowed quarterbacks to get pressured on 35% of their dropbacks, which was the fourth-highest rate in the league.

The addition of Zeitler helps fill the void at right guard created when Marshal Yanda retired last year. Baltimore never replaced the eight-time Pro Bowl lineman in free agency a year ago and started three players (Tyre Phillips, Patrick Mekari and Ben Powers) who struggled at right guard in 2020. Zeitler, who has missed only one start in the past six seasons, provides stability for a Ravens offensive line that used four players for 200-plus snaps at guard, tied for the most in the NFL.

Zeitler returns to the AFC North after spending the past two seasons with the Giants. A first-round pick by the Bengals in 2012, he played five seasons in Cincinnati (2012-16) and then joined the Cleveland Browns (2017-18) for two seasons. In 2019, Zeitler was part of the trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns.

The signing of Zeitler doesn't affect Baltimore's ability to accrue compensatory picks this offseason because he was a cap cut. With pass-rushers Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue expected to sign elsewhere, the Ravens are in line for potentially two third-round comp picks.