PHOENIX - Rick Wagner spent his first four seasons in Baltimore, the last three as a starter on Ravens head coach John Harbaugh's offensive line.
Harbaugh said at the NFL Combine last month right before the start of free agency that he really wanted to re-sign Wagner. Speaking again Tuesday at the AFC coaches breakfast at the league meetings, Harbaugh said Baltimore simply couldn't match the offer Detroit gave Wagner in free agency.
View photos of tackle Rick Wagner.
But Harbaugh couldn't say enough good things about Detroit's new right tackle.
"The Lions are getting a hard-nosed, dedicated guy who cares," he said. "He's quiet. You're not going to get a lot of quotes from Rick Wagner, I'll tell you that, but you are going to get a good, hard day's work.
"I think, obviously, he's one of the best right tackles in the game. That was a good signing for Jim (Caldwell) and the Lions."
Wagner immediately steps in as an upgrade on the right side opposite the emerging Taylor Decker at left tackle. Caldwell spent a year in Baltimore with Wagner when Wagner was a rookie, and Harbaugh thinks that familiarity will help tremendously with Wagner making a seamless transition in Detroit.
"They were in the room together every day and I'm sure Rick understands Jim and Jim's philosophy, how he wants things done, and that's a big plus," Harbaugh said. "It's a good signing for him."