Brandon Williams ready to take his place as a core building block for Ravens – Baltimroe Ravens News

The Ravens have always made a point of investing long-term dollars to keep essential homegrown players, from Ray Lewis to Haloti Ngata to Joe Flacco.

In March, nose tackle Brandon Williams became the latest member of that exclusive club, signing a five-year, $52.5 million, with $27.5 million guaranteed.

Williams, 28, might seem an unusual addition to a group that includes future Hall of Famers, Super Bowl MVPs and multiyear All-Pros. He was a third-round draft pick out of Missouri Southern and has just 4½ sacks to his name in four seasons. He plays one of the least glamorous positions in the league, and the closest he has come to the Pro Bowl was a second-alternate selection after last season.

Yet, in an offseason when they also signed safety Tony Jefferson and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, the Ravens made their biggest splurge to hold on to the 6-foot-1, 340-pound fireplug at the heart of their No. 5 run defense.

Why?

For linebacker Terrell Suggs, dean of the Ravens defense, the answer lies 275 miles north of Baltimore, where all-world running back Le’Veon Bell takes handoffs for the archrival Pittsburgh Steelers.

“You definitely want a run-stopping nose guard to help you with one of the premier backs in the league,” Suggs said. “This organization is great with keeping Ravens as Ravens. Brandon Williams has proved himself. It’s good to have a Raven stay a Raven.”

For coach John Harbaugh, the reason is even simpler. He expects Williams to be “a dominant player, flat-out.”

It’s not as if the Ravens shocked the…

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