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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Ravens Newcomer Jason Pierre-Paul Already Making Impact

The Baltimore Ravens were in need of immediate help along the defensive front since starters Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo are still sidelined. So, they signed free agent defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to a one-year contract with a base salary of just $1.35 million.
With incentives, Pierre-Paul could earn over $5 million this season with sack and playing time incentives. Pierre-Paul had not played in a game since week 15 last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, yet he came up big for the Ravens in their 19-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Pierre-Paul finished with a sack, a tackle for a loss, and a pass deflection.
“Very impressed,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Pierre-Paul. “He hadn’t played at all in training camp or in the season. I thought he looked good the first week, and now just a little bit better this week. To get his hands on those balls, and to pressure the quarterback, strong against the run. He plays super hard. He’s a hard playing guy. You can tell he loves the game, so he’s a big plus for us. I’m very happy that we have him.”
The Ravens have created a culture that makes it easy for veteran players to assimilate into the locker room. Baltimore has a history of acquiring veteran players and getting immediate contributions from them.
It’s no different with Pierre-Paul. Even though he’s fairly new to the Ravens, Pierre-Paul has already gathered an understanding of how they do things. He’s also quickly figured out that Cincinnati is a rivalry game, so the win has extra value.
“It means a lot. It’s a rivalry game, a division game,” Pierre-Paul said. “So, this game counts for two wins. But most importantly, it is getting us in the right direction and giving us confidence. If we keep playing together, we’ll be great.”
At 33 years of age, Pierre-Paul is no youngster by football standards. Nevertheless, he led the Ravens defensive line with 42 snaps (remember the playing time incentives) against the Bengals on Sunday. His 53 snaps led the Ravens two weeks ago in their heartbreaking 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The 13-year veteran has made a good impression on Harbaugh. Given how much emotion Pierre-Paul plays with, it’s easy to see that his passion for football is still burning.
“This guy loves football, and he wants to be good. I just think he’s kind of rounding into shape right now too, so he’s only going to keep getting better,” Harbaugh said. “He seems like he’s doing a good job. I felt good about him. Still, there’s little things that he’s going to be upset about that he could have played a little bit better, but he really cares.”

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