Linebacker Hartwell, fullback Ricard re-sign

Originally Published: May 24, 2004
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

A pair of significant albeit unheralded Baltimore Ravens starters, inside linebacker Edgerton Hartwell and fullback Alan Ricard, have re-signed with the team.

Both players are three-year veterans, were restricted free agents this offseason, and signed one-year contracts for $628,000. That base salary is equal to the qualifying offer that the Ravens made to Hartwell and Ricard in early March to retain the right of first refusal.

The Ravens have now re-signed all of their restricted free agents.

Hartwell, 25, has blossomed in the two seasons since Baltimore switched to a 3-4 front, a move that created a starting spot for him. Playing next to Ray Lewis in the middle, and often overshadowed by the NFL's most dominant defender, Hartwell posted 140 tackles and three sacks in 2003, starting in 15 of his 16 appearances.

In 2002, with Lewis sidelined most of the season by a shoulder injury, Hartwell led the Baltimore defense with 191 tackles. That made him the only player, other than Lewis, to lead the Ravens in tackles. A fourth-round pick in the 2001 draft, Hartwell now has 336 tackles, six sacks and 12 passes defensed for his career.

The former Western Illinois star has appeared in 48 games and started 31 of them.

An undrafted free agent in 2001, Ricard has become of the most formidable lead-blocking fullbacks in the NFL since becoming a starter, as demonstrated by the productivity of star tailback Jamal Lewis, who usually follows him through the hole.

Ricard, 27, does not get many "touches" in the Baltimore offense, but usually makes the most of his opportunities with the ball. The former Northeastern Louisiana standout has totaled 33 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Ricard also has 19 catches for 122 yards in 36 appearances and 20 starts.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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