elamWhen the Baltimore Ravens have their team assembled to kick off training camp on July 24th, they will have the entire 2013 draft class present as well, as first round pick, Matt Elam agreed to a four-year contract this morning worth a reported $6.767 million dollars, including a $3.301 million dollar signing bonus according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

Elam decided against hiring an agent, instead negotiating the deal on his own with guidance from his older brother Abram – a former NFL cornerback – in getting a deal done. Speaking with the media in early June, Elam stated that language in the contract needed to be finalized and it wouldn’t be long before a deal was inked.

An interesting sidebar to the agent-less deal for Elam is this:

Smart man.

With his ability to play both safety positions, Elam is a favorite to start either at free safety or strong safety for the Ravens this season. Elam will battle all camp with both Michael Huff and James Ihedigbo. His playmaking abilities stand out already, drawing great praise from the coaching staff during minicamp, secondary coach Teryl Austin loves the toughness and smarts Elam brings to the table.

“Matt Elam is what we expected and maybe a little bit more. He’s going through the usual changes that a rookie goes through, but he’s smart. He gets football, and I think he is going to be a fine player for us soon.” 

Now, as the Ravens embark on a chance to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, they can take a deep breath knowing there will not be any holdouts come training camp and can focus on maximizing their time and finding out where the ten rookies drafted will fit on this team.

Elam could very well be one of three, possibly four Ravens rookies to win a starting job in 2013.