And they did Thursday, reaching agreement with McKinnie on a two-year contract with a maximum value of $7 million that includes an undisclosed signing bonus, incentive clauses, weight clauses and workout bonuses, according to a source. The Ravens' contract was the best financial offer.
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"I'm excited to be back," McKinnie told The Baltimore Sun on Friday morning. "I didn't really want to leave anyway. I like being in Baltimore."
Now, McKinnie's plan is to pick up where he left off during the Ravens' Super Bowl run.
With McKinnie at left tackle, Michael Oher at right tackle and Kelechi Osemele playing left guard, the Ravens allowed just six sacks in four playoff victories capped by defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens averaged 410.3 yards of total offense per game as quarterback Joe Flacco had plenty of time to throw 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions during the postseason.
"Yep, that's what I want to do," McKinnie said. "I want to pick up from there. I feel like we have a chance for a great year with me and K.O. on the left side."
A former University of Miami standout, McKinnie, 33, said his brief foray into free agency felt similar to the recruiting process.
"It was definitely like recruiting, like college again," McKinnie said. "It was nice, I got to meet some people, but I ended up back here. I'm still in Baltimore and that's a great thing."