Ryan Jensen: Signing with Buccaneers put him in ‘win-now type of situation’

Ryan Jensen made only two free-agent visits, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts.

The former member of the Baltimore Ravens signed a record contract for an NFL center with the Buccaneers ($42 million over four years), in part because they’re a team he believes provides the best chance for immediate success.

‘We just signed Mike Evans back’

“Looking at Tampa Bay’s roster, we’ve got a lot of young talent,” Jensen told Brady Quinn and A.J. Hawk on the SiriusXM Blitz. “We just signed Mike Evans back and everything like that, so I just felt Tampa, the way things are going there, that it’s going to be kind of a win-now type of a situation. And I thrive in that kind of situation.”

Jensen also liked what he saw of the Buccaneers’ offense. He felt particularly comfortable about being part of a power-oriented blocking scheme.

‘I kept getting drawn back to Tampa’

“It better fit me, the style of offense that we’re going to be running down there,” Jensen said. “It just felt right. When I went to Indy, the facilities are nice, everything like that, the excitement in the building. But for whatever reason, I kept getting drawn back to Tampa and, ultimately, that was my choice.”

For Jensen, the free-agent process was “pretty crazy.” The constant phone updates he received from his agent, to the tune of about every 15 minutes, eventually wore him down mentally. After only one season as a starting center, he never envisioned getting the kind of contract he received.

‘My agent kept saying, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing and you’re going to set yourself up pretty good”

“I try to be a pretty humble guy and stuff like that,” Jensen said. “So, throughout the season, people, teammates have said, ‘You keep playing like this, you’re going to see the big bucks.’ You know, to me, I was just like, ‘Well, yeah, whatever. I’m just doing my job to the best of my ability.’

“My agent kept saying, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing and you’re going to set yourself up pretty good.’ Ultimately, when free agency opened and when that craziness ensued, it was like, ‘OK, these guys, they were being truthful,’ and stuff like that. I’m very thankful for everything that’s happened in my career.”

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