Shortly after bolstering their special teams unit by agreeing to terms with former
"I never planned on going anywhere," Ayanbadejo said on a conference call. "During this whole free agency period, I never stressed or worried about anything. I went on a vacation. I just waited my turn patiently. I figured that it would get done, I just didn't know exactly when. Now that it's here and it's done for me it's kind of anticlimactic, but it's done."
Ayanbadejo, 35, has been with the Ravens since the 2008 season. Contributing as a special teams captain and as a linebacker who was often used in passing situations, Ayanbadejo made 67 tackles the past four seasons. He also chipped in on the stat sheet with 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception.
"He's our leader on special teams, and we needed him back," Ravens coach
"The other good thing with Brendon is that he's a real factor on our defense with our [substitution] packages. His development in that area exceeded what we originally expected when we first signed him as the top special teams' player."
The Ravens want to improve their coverage units this offseason after surrendering three return touchdowns last season and allowing 29.2 yards per kickoff returns and 11.9 yards per punt return.
"Don't make any mistake, it wasn't the coaches fault," Ayanbadejo said. "It was purely the players and what was different last year the main thing different is we didn't have that offseason time to jel as a special teams unit and really learn how to play as a special teams unit."
Ayanbadejo recorded nine special teams tackles last season, good for second on the team behind
The Ravens allowed
"These young guys come in and they have to understand that they have to cover a kick before they go out there and cover a receiver. They're going to cover a kick before they run a route. I don't think last year's group got that," he said. "They felt like they were going to come in and surpass special teams and play defense right away. Their priorities were in the wrong places.