It took guard Kevin Zeitler less than a week to find a new home.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms with the former New York Giants guard on a three-year deal worth $22 million, including $16 million fully guaranteed, per a source informed of the pact. The team later announced the deal was official, pending a physical.
"It was actually a pretty tough call, a lot of teams came in. ... They were all duking it out last night," Zeitler said Monday on Glenn Clark Radio. "But me and my wife sat down ... and decided Baltimore was the right fit. ... [The AFC North] is more my style of ball."
The 31-year-old offensive lineman was released by the Giants last week, allowing him to sign before the open of free agency, which begins Wednesday, March 17 at 4 p.m. ET. The NFL's negotiating window for free agents opens Monday at noon ET.
The guard market is shallow this year, with Zeitler representing one of the few starting-caliber options. It's no surprise he landed a new gig so swiftly. He ranked No. 53 on Gregg Rosenthal's Top 101 Free Agents list of 2021.
Upgrading the offensive line was a priority in Baltimore. The club struggled to replace star guard Marshal Yanda, who retired just over a year ago. Zeitler is no Yanda, but he represents the closest the Ravens could come to a suitable substitute in this market. Zeitler immediately upgrades the Ravens' interior blocking and should be a boon for Lamar Jackson in both the run and passing attacks.
Zeitler had interest from a few teams on the open market, including the Seattle Seahawks, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.
After two years in New York, the veteran offensive lineman returns to the AFC North, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career. A first-round pick in 2012 by the Cincinnati Bengals, he joined Cleveland after five seasons. After two years with the Browns, he was part of the blockbuster Odell Beckham trade with New York.
For the always compensatory pick-conscious Ravens, because Zeitler was cut by Big Blue, he doesn't count against the comp pick formula for 2022.