The Baltimore Ravens still haven’t made a major move in free agency, and it actually doesn’t look like any will come anytime soon.
For some reason, the Ravens haven’t even been negotiating with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who is currently making $12 million because of the franchise tag. Once the Ravens get him signed to a long-term deal, it should open up about $6 million more to use on free agents. However, Ozzie Newsome doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get Ngata signed long-term, so by the time the deal is finished, there won’t be any quality free agents remaining.
It’s strange to see the Ravens struggling so much in free agency. If they think they can afford to lose the players that were cut or simpy signed elsewhere and add very little else to the team and be a Super Bowl contender, they are sadly mistaken. Teams can rarely stay in neutral or go in reverse in the offseason and compete at a high level the following year. I know the salary cap is still restricting them somewhat, but there are players that could be released and others that could be asked to take a pay cut to free up additional money.
About the only bit of good news is that Nnamdi Asomugha went to the Philadelphia Eagles instead of the New York Jets, which means they won’t have to run into him in the regular season or until the Super Bowl in the postseason. With Asomugha off the board and not landing in New York, it’s even more critical that the Ravens lock up Chris Carr.
The Jets are going to try and re-sign Antonio Cromartie, but there are other teams vying for his services. If the Jets somehow strike out on Cromartie, they would immediately make a play on Carr. The Ravens should take that possibility out of the equation and just lock him up while they can.
Baltimore has expressed interest in fullback Vonta Leach, and it’s becoming increasingly likely that Le’Ron McClain will not return. There is no word yet on the status of Derrick Mason, Todd Heap or Kelly Gregg. At the moment, it would appear that Mason is the most likely to return because the Ravens are very inexperienced at the wide receiver position.
It’s looking more likely that Marc Bulger will end up re-signing with the Ravens because so many other teams that needed a quarterback have found one via trade or free agency. It’s hard to believe Bulger would go elsewhere to be a backup when he can serve the same role with the Ravens.
Rumors continue to swirl about Osi Umenyiora being traded, especially after he failed to show up for his physical with the New York Giants. I wouldn’t expect any news on that front for awhile, as the Giants are not going to readily part with him unless the situation remains the same for some period of time or gets worse. It’s also unlikely that the Ravens have the salary cap room right now to sign him, especially with Carr still unsigned.
Check back in with the Baltimore Sports Examiner for up to the minute news and opinion on all things Ravens as the free agency madness continues over the next several days.