Ravens add depth to secondary

March 14, 2013 | Luke Jones

Bracing for the potential departure of nine-time Pro Bowl safety and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed as he visited the Houston Texans on Thursday, the Ravens continued to build depth in their secondary.

In addition to officially announcing the re-signing of safety James Ihedigbo, the Ravens have re-signed veteran cornerback Chris Johnson to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old Johnson was signed the week leading up to the Ravens’ Nov. 18 game at Pittsburgh, which coincided with second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith undergoing sports hernia surgery.

Johnson was active in that game against the Steelers but sustained a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the next games. He made one start when the Ravens opened in their nickel defense against the Denver Broncos and saw action in four regular-season games. posting seven solo tackles and one forced fumble.

In his nine-year career, he’s accumulated 164 tackles, eight interceptions, and four forced fumbles while making stops in Green Bay, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Oakland.

With free-agent cornerback Cary Williams signing a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday — a departure that wasn’t unexpected — Johnson will be in competition to make the 53-man roster behind Lardarius Webb, Smith, Corey Graham, and Chykie Brown on the depth chart.

The signing of Ihedigbo first became known on Tuesday, and the six-year veteran could find himself in a starting role depending on how the Ravens fare in free agency and April’s draft. The former Patriot and Jet made three starts and played in all 16 games, posting 19 tackles and one sack in his first season with the Ravens.

In his pro career, Ihedigbo has recorded 109 tackles and six sacks. He is also regarded as an effective blitzer and excellent special-teams player.

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