Baltimore Ravens 2017: A look at the free-agent picture
By Chami L. Hughes
Special to Pro Football Guru
The Baltimore Ravens want back in the playoff run and they aren't afraid to use free agency to start making changes. While the 2016 season did show improvement from 2015; from 5-11 to 8-8. It wasn't enough for a playoff run. What do the Ravens plan on doing to change that? Cue free agency moves.
Although Baltimore elected to part ways with eight-year veteran Lardarius Webb, they didn't leave the safety position in rookie hands. Just one day prior to releasing Webb, Tony Jefferson was signed to a four-year thirty-four million dollar contract. And Anthony Levine also signed a three-year contract extension.
The Ravens also parted ways outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and withdrew restricted free agent tenders on safety Marqueston Huff and cornerback Jumal Rolle. Following the arrest of safety Matt Elam earlier this year Baltimore released a statement saying that Elam was not a part of their 2017 plans. Kyle Arrington agreed to a pay cut to stay in Baltimore while fellow cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Chris Lewis-Harris both remain unrestricted free agents. The New England Patriots snagged defensive end Lawrence Guy from Baltimore with a four-year $13.4 million contract. Cornerback Shareece Wright and safety Kendrick Lewis are looking for new defensive lines to call home for the 2017 NFL season.
There has been mutual interest displayed between the Baltimore Ravens and former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne. It is expected that Claiborne will soon reach a deal with the Ravens. If he does not, Baltimore could look at re-signing Webb.
The Ravens offense could be looking at a few shake-ups as well. A two-year $2 million contract extension was agreed upon with quarterback Ryan Mallett. And running back Danny Woodhead became the first running back to ink a deal in free agency. He signed a three-year $8.8 million contract. With Woodhead coming off a torn ACL it begs the question of why didn't the Ravens explore their options further with other free agent running backs? There’s Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Latavius Murray and LeGarrette Blount, to name a few? They missed their chance with Eddie Lacy as he has moved on from Green Bay to Seattle. There's still a chance they could reach out to the others though that window is quickly closing.
Baltimore has tendered restricted free agents wide receiver Michael Campanaro, offensive tackle James Hurst, guard/center Ryan Jensen, and running back Terrance West. Among those staying in Charm City are tight end Dennis Pitta, tight end Benjamin Watson, center Jeremy Zuttah, and wide receiver Mike Wallace. Former Ravens offensive guard Vladimir Ducasse has signed with the Buffalo Bills and wide receiver Kamar Aiken remains an unrestricted free agent. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk made history as the highest-paid fullback in NFL history when he signed a four-year $21-million contract with the San Fransisco 49ers. Finally, there's also still a chance that we may see wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the purple and black this season.
Once a Raven, always a Raven.
NOTE: All financial figures courtesy of Spotrac
Chami L. Hughes is a single mom with a dream of being a sports writer. She's a lover of nearly all sports, however her passion is the NFL. She's an avid fantasy football player (and multiple season champion). She considers herself to be more than a casual fan and football is in her blood. Follow her on Twitter at @Sapphire2Momma.