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Ravens safety Geno Stone on free agency: 'I just want to be somewhere I'm appreciated'

Geno Stone found a home in Baltimore, becoming a full-time playmaker at safety in the Ravens' secondary.

Heading into free agency, the 24-year-old hopes he doesn't have to move.

"At the end of the day, Baltimore is always home, but business is business," he told NFL Network's Patrick Claybon Tuesday on NFL Total Access. "You know that being in this league this long. I've been through it all, especially my rookie year. I just want to be somewhere I'm appreciated, you know, who wants me and for me to be a starter, whatever it may be. I just want my value to be there."

The Iowa product entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick of the Ravens in 2020. During his rookie season, he bounced around the team's practice squad, participating in two games, had a stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and was ultimately waived in December. Houston claimed Stone, but he didn't play a snap for the Texans.

Stone returned to the Ravens in 2021, where he played as a reserve and special teamer. In 2022, he saw his role increase, making seven starts. In 2023, he became a full-time player, starting 11 games, generating seven interceptions, nine passes defended, and 68 tackles from his safety position.

In four seasons, Stone has earned just shy of $5 million total. Heading to free agency, he has a chance to cash in. There will be more prominent names on the market come March -- and seventh-rounders rarely out-grow their pre-draft status in the eyes of many scouts -- but Stone could provide value, particularly for clubs that like to deploy more three-safety looks. With his former coordinator, Mike Macdonald, now head coach in Seattle, Stone could have options.

Stone credited former Ravens teammate Anthony Levine -- an undrafted free agent who, like Stone, had to overcome his draft status to carve out an NFL career -- with keeping him focused on the job at hand.

"I just had great vets around me really," he said. "I had a guy, Anthony Levine, that was next to me every day and preaching what to do. I just kind of followed what he did. His lead. He was in the league for 12 years, so I had a guy like that to lean on. And guys like Chuck Clark, the other guys I could name, but I'll say Anthony Levine was probably the main one. The guy that had been through the kind of same process I was going through and kind of just staying by his side and picking his brain each day. He told me one day, he said, 'You're gonna make it one day. Just make sure you're going through the process and stay humble.'"

The Ravens have a host of key free agents on the defensive side of the ball, including the likes of Justin Madubuike, Jadeveon Clowney, Patrick Queen, Stone and others. How the front office prioritizes those pending free agents will influence whether Stone returns to Baltimore or starts a new chapter elsewhere.

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