With Matt Birk retiring, the Ravens have a hole to fill at center in 2013.
The assumption has been that 2012 fourth-round pick Gino Gradkowski will be the man snapping the ball to Joe Flacco. That may prove to be the case, but he got a little competition for the job on Thursday.
The Colts and Ravens have announced a trade sending center A.Q. Shipley to Baltimore in exchange for a 2014 conditional draft pick. The conditions for that pick have not been revealed.
Shipley was a seventh-round pick of the Steelers in 2009 and spent time on practice squads in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia before landing on the Colts’ active roster last year. He started five games and graded out fairly well over the course of the 476 snaps he played on offense. The Colts have Samson Satele in their starting lineup and they drafted Khaled Holmes out of USC in the fourth round last month, giving them the freedom to deal Shipley without hurting their depth too much.
The Ravens have already called Shipley a contender for the starting job, but, at worst, he’ll upgrade the depth on the line in Baltimore. The Ravens know how important that is after watching Bryant McKinnie step into the lineup and play well during the playoffs last season.