Ravens sign WR Dedric Ward

Updated: October 6, 2003, 4:28 PM ET

OWINGS MILLS, Maryland - The Baltimore Ravens on Monday signed receiver-returner Dedric Ward to a one-year contract.

Ward was waived by the New England Patriots in training camp after spending the first six years of his career with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

The Ravens were seeking to add a returner after Lamont Brightful suffered a concussion in the September 28 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Safety Ed Reed replaced Brightful and fumbled a punt in the fourth quarter.

"Dedric gives us some addional options," said Ravens coach Brian Billick. "When we have Ed back there, it is always a concern. Not because Ed can't handle the package, but he is already taking 65-70 snaps a game."

Ward, 28, returned 16 punts for Miami last season, averaging 10.6 yards.

A third-round pick of the Jets in 1997, Ward has averaged 8.4 yards per return in his career. He enjoyed his best season in 2000, catching 54 passes for 804 yards and three touchdowns.

The Ravens released cornerback Alvin Porter to make room on the roster for Ward.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index