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Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Ravens add needed depth at defensive line

By Jamison Hensley

The Baltimore Ravens gave nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu his first opportunity when they signed him as a undrafted rookie in 2002. Now, a decade later, they doing it again.

The Ravens signed Kemoeatu to a one-year deal Wednesday to back up Terrence Cody. He takes over for Brandon McKinney, who signed with the Colts in free agency.

Kemoeatu, 33, has started 73 games in his NFL career but he was out of football for the 2011 season. He became a full-time starter for the Ravens in 2005 and then signed with the Panthers in 2006 as a free agent. Kemoeatu made 50 starts for the Panthers and Redskins from 2006 to 2010 but has been bothered by an Achilles' tendon and shoulder injuries.

“When we signed Maake as a rookie free agent in 2002, he really rose to the occasion and worked his way into becoming a highly-regarded player in Baltimore and throughout the league,” director of pro personnel Vince Newsome said. “He is incredibly strong – someone who has heavy hands and great punch. For a guy his size, he also moves really well and creates separation.”

Kemoeatu's brother, Chris, played for the Steelers for seven seasons before being cut this offseason.