The Baltimore Ravens have agreed in principle with safety Matt Elam on a four-year contract.
The team's first-round pick in the 2013 draft, Elam is expected to sign the deal July 21, when he reports for training camp. The deal includes a fifth-year option, general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced Thursday.
The 32nd overall pick out of the University of Florida, Elam played in 39 career games for the Gators, and recorded 176 tackles, 24 for losses He impressed the team during rookie minicamp with the Super Bowl champions with his confident play at free safety.
The Ravens hope Elam's play will help the team forget about Ed Reed, who joined the Houston Texans in the offseason.
"Matt really picked things up quickly, same for (second-round inside linebacker) Arthur (Brown)," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said during camp. "He really did a nice job of communicating in the back end which isn't usual for a rookie. Most rookie defensive backs all defensive players have a tough time with the communication part because they're not confident enough to make the calls.
"He's smart. He picked it up quickly. He jumped back there quickly and made the calls with force. He was very forceful back there and played fast. He looked good."