It’s another day but the same story for the Baltimore Ravens, who watched as other players they could have potentially signed agreed to contracts with other teams.
The biggest name off of the board in the past 24 hours is cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who ended up signing with the Houston Texans, who apparently got tired of waiting on Nnamdi Asomugha or just decided the former Bengal was a better value. Cornerback Drayton Florence re-signed with the Buffalo Bills.
The Ravens never got involved in the Nnamdi sweepstakes and the Philadelphia Eagles swooped in at the last moment to snare him out of nowhere. Interestingly enough, Nnamdi recently said he wanted to play in Baltimore or Philadelphia, so that turned out to be true. That means that Antonio Cromartie and Chris Carr are likely to be the top remaining free agents at cornerback, but the Jets will obviously be working hard to retain their guy. The team could also look at Nate Clements, who was just cut by the San Francisco 49ers.
Interestingly enough, this could also have ramifications for a couple of other Eagles. Cornerback Asante Samuel could be released and wideout DeSean Jackson, who is currently a camp holdout and not happy with his contract, could possibly be traded. I wouldn’t hold my breath because he is Michael Vick’s top weapon, but he is a small, injury prone wideout looking for big money and the Eagles just broke the bank for Asomugha.
The Eagles also signed Jason Babin, taking one of the top available pass rushers off of the board. Rumors have picked up with the Ravens and their quest to find a pass rusher. They have been linked with Darnell Dockett and Osi Umenyiora, though nothing is imminent. In fact, the Dockett rumors turned out to be unsubstantiated. There may be something to the Umenyiora rumors, though the New York Giants would prefer to hold onto him.
Meanwhile, wideout Steve Smith said he wants to remain in Carolina and retire as a Panther. That likely crosses him off the list. Chad Ocho Cinco was traded to New England, not that he was ever even considered as a possible acquisition.
It’s also worth mentioning that Jared Gaither, Willis McGahee and Dawan Landry have headed to Oakland, Denver and Jacksonville respectively, ending their time with the Ravens as expected. That officially opens up three more roster spots for the Ravens to fill.
Baltimore did manage to sign all of their draft picks, finally coming to terms with Jimmy Smith earlier today, which means everyone will be ready to go when training camp kicks into full gear Saturday. That’s good news because the Ravens can’t afford rookies missing any training camp after all of the minicamps were cancelled because of the lockout.
Free agents can now officially sign with teams, so expect the next 48 hours to be the wildest in NFL history. Check back frequently for updates on the Ravens and from around the league.