OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Wide receiver Willie Snead says he was "grateful" that the Ravens signed him to a one-year contract extension this week, adding that, "I was really excited. I want to be here in Baltimore, and to know I'm going to be here another year for sure is just a great feeling."
Snead, who turned 27 this month, has 15 catches for 223 yards and two touchdowns this season. He led the Ravens last year with 62 catches for 651 yards and one touchdown last year, his first with the Ravens.
Snead was in the final year of a two-year, $7 million deal he signed in 2018.
Head coach John Harbaugh and others have called Snead an ideal fit for this offense with his sure hands, ability to play physical in the middle of the field and his strong downfield blocking, which comes in handy with a run-first offense led by quarterback Lamar Jackson.
"I can block, I can catch, I can run routes," Snead said as he met with the media before practice Oct. 31. "I can do whatever the team needs me to do to win the games. ... Just being that versatile player that they need me to be, I think that's why I fit in so well here."
Through seven games this season Snead has played 346 offensive snaps, the most of any wide receiver.
Now in his fifth full season, Snead is also viewed as a mentor in a receiver room that features a pair of rookie draft picks in Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin as well as second-year receiver Jaleel Scott.
Other than those three, the other three receivers on the Ravens' roster -- Snead, Chris Moore and Seth Roberts -- were all set to become free agents next spring, and Snead said extension talks have been in the works since training camp.
"The deal was fair, I believe, and I just know I'm going to be here another year," Snead said. "I'm grateful to have that, grateful to be here and just to continue to play football for this team."
THOMAS RETURNS TO PRACTICE: After missing the team's Oct. 30 practice with a knee injury, safety Earl Thomas was back on the field for the Oct. 31 practice, which was held outside in the rain. The only player not present for the portion of practice open to the media was safety Bennett Jackson.
Asked about the highly-anticipated "Sunday Night Football" showdown with the undefeated New England Patriots this week, Thomas said, "the black-on-black jerseys are going to be fire. The fans are going to be fired up. ... Everybody in this locker room is excited about it."
TUCKER NAMED SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Justin Tucker has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October after going 10-for-10 on field goals – including a game-winner in overtime at Pittsburgh -- and 7-for-7 on extra points in a month in which the Ravens went 3-0.
It's the seventh such honor for Tucker, the most for any kicker.
This season, Tucker is 16-for-16 on field-goal tries, improving his career field-goal accuracy to 90.7 percent, the best in NFL history. He is 20-for-20 on extra-point kicks this year and is the only kicker in the league who has been perfect on every field goal and extra-point try this season.
Asked about Tucker earlier this week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said, "Once they get into field-goal range, it's about as close to automatic as you can get. That's a great weapon to have."
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