With starting center Matt Birk’s status uncertain for the start of the regular season, the Ravens have further bolstered their offensive line by reaching a one-year agreement with five-time Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode.
Released by the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 29 after failing to restructure his contract, Gurode has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last five seasons. The 32-year-old spent the first nine seasons of his career in Dallas after being selected in the second round of the 2002 draft. He made 122 starts for the Cowboys at guard and center.
“We just got better as a team,” said general manager Ozzie Newsome to the team’s official website. “To have a successful season, you have to have quality depth across the board. We just added great depth to the interior of our offensive line with Andre.”
The 6-foot-4, 335-pound center has not missed a start in his last three seasons and was named an All-Pro in 2007 and 2009. However, Gurode underwent knee surgery in June, which allowed former Maryland center Phil Costa to receive more reps for the Cowboys during training camp, ultimately leading to Gurode’s salary-cap driven release.
With Birk’s health an uncertainty at the age of 35, it’s likely Gurode will take his place in the starting lineup.
The Ravens did not announce a corresponding roster move since wide receiver David Reed is suspended for the regular-season opener and will not count against the 53-man roster.