Justin Bethel agrees to a two-year deal with Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens and special teams ace Justin Bethel have agreed to a two-year deal, according to the Ravens’ official Twitter account.
We have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with three-time Pro Bowl ST/CB Justin Bethel, pending the passing of a physical. pic.twitter.com/3IntFSlwa2
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 16, 2019
Bethel is a former sixth-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals out of Presbyterian College. He is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and has been a special teams star for both the Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons.
The Ravens already have two starting cornerbacks in place with Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr. Bethel has played in the slot before but has yet to prove he is a reliable corner. He was highly criticized for his poor play as a starter opposite Patrick Peterson in his time with the Cardinals. He flashed starting potential at times and possess intriguing size (6-0, 200 pounds), but he has struggled with the basic fundamentals of the cornerback position.
He has some familiarity with the Ravens’ secondary: He will be reuniting with former Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson on the roster. The Ravens will play the Cardinals in Baltimore in the upcoming season. They’ll definitely have their calendars marked for that game.
This signing will significantly improve Baltimore’s special teams unit. Bethel has been one of the best in that category since entering the NFL in 2012. Maybe the soon-to-be 29-year-old special teams standout will have an opportunity to play corner on the Ravens’ defense.
One thing is certain: If he can stay healthy, he is a game-changer on special teams. He’s a better fit to play safety than cornerback, if asked to do so by defensive coordinator Don Martindale.
In his seven years in the NFL, Bethel has collected 199 tackles, four interceptions, 19 passes defensed, and four forced fumbles.
With the addition of Justin Bethel and the recent announcement of Earl Thomas joining the Ravens, their defense and special teams got a whole lot better.