Two-time Pro Bowl special teams player Brendon Ayanbadejo has chosen to sign a contract with the Baltimore Ravens. It is a four-year deal worth $4.925 million. The contract is front loaded and will pay him $3.355 million in the first two years.
Ayanbadejo went to the last two Pro Bowls as a member of the Bears after being a first alternate in 2005.
He is the second player to leave via free agency, following wide receiver Bernard Berrian.
Ayanbadejo negotiated with the Bears starting this past weekend, then stated a desire to make a visit to the New York Jets. The Bears, apparently feeling they had extended themselves far enough in contract talks, told him they were no longer interested Monday. The deal he got from the Ravens turns out to be similar to what he turned down from the Bears.
Ayanbadejo met with the Jets Monday and Tuesday before flying to Baltimore without signing a contract presented to him by the Jets. Ayanbadejo arrived at his home in Miami on Wednesday evening and made a decision this morning between the two AFC teams.
The Bears declined to match the Ravens' offer as was expected. Once the team announced on its Web site it was no longer pursuing him Monday, it was a virtual given it would not go back on its word.