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Ravens Re-Sign Rod Woodson

May 7, 2001

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) _ The Baltimore Ravens re-signed safety Rod Woodson, who had been released in a salary cap move, to a five-year contract Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The signing of Woodson, 36, means the Super Bowl champions will return all but one defensive starter from last year, when they set the record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season.

``My main priority was to stay in Baltimore,″ Woodson said. ``Being a mentor has been my role for the past three years, and I’m more than willing to do my part to help the team.″

The Ravens declined an option on Woodson’s contract on March 1, allowing him to become a free agent. At the time, he was scheduled to make $3 million this season, and had a cap number of $5 million.

However, Ozzie Newsome, the team’s vice president of player personnel, had guaranteed his return, most likely under a more cap-friendly deal.

Woodson earned his ninth Pro Bowl selection last season, his second straight since switching from cornerback to safety in 1999. He ranked fifth on the team with 82 tackles and had four interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

In the playoffs, he had 23 tackles, second on the team.

``Rod’s zest to be the best both on and off the field helps our guys tremendously,″ defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis said. ``He keeps the calm in the huddle on the field in the heat of the battle.″

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