With the Ravens set to hold their first training camp practice for rookies, quarterbacks, and injured veterans on Tuesday, they may be adding another veteran to their highly-contested left guard competition.
Former Bengals and Browns guard Eric Steinbach will work out for the Ravens on Tuesday as first reported by CBS Sports. The Ravens opened a spot on their training camp roster Monday by releasing guard Howard Barbieri.
The 32-year-old Steinbach missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing back surgery and was due to make $6 million this season before he was released by Cleveland in March. While questions remain about his health at this stage in his career, Steinbach played in all but three games over his first eight years in the NFL with Cincinnati and Cleveland before last season’s back injury.
“Eric’s a great player,” said Ravens right guard Marshal Yanda about his fellow Iowa alum. “If he’s healthy, you never know. We’ll see what happens.”
If Steinbach’s workout goes well, he could join veteran Bobbie Williams and younger offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Jah Reid in a competition for the left guard position. The Ravens lost Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs in free agency and were unable to sign Philadelphia free-agent guard Evan Mathis earlier this offseason.
Upon signing a two-year contract in early June, Williams became the favorite to start on the Ravens’ aging offensive line, but a healthy Steinbach would certainly add another viable option to the mix. Steinbach has reportedly garnered interested from other teams besides the Ravens.
A second-round selection of Cincinnati in the 2003 draft, Steinbach signed a seven-year, $49.5 million contract with the Browns prior to the 2007 season. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate for the 2007 season.