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Ozzie Newsome: We're Not Done In Free Agency

Posted Mar 10, 2017

The Ravens have already brought in safety Tony Jefferson, running back Danny Woodhead and re-signed defensive tackle Brandon Williams, quarterback Ryan Mallett and safety Anthony Levine.

The first 24 hours of free agency were much more exciting than normal for the Ravens.

Baltimore has historically sat out the initial wave of free agency spending, but General Manager Ozzie Newsome jumped into the fray this year by retaining defensive tackle Brandon Williams and signing top free-agent safety Tony Jefferson and veteran running back Danny Woodhead.

Jefferson was the top safety on the open market, and Williams was ranked by ESPN as the top free agent overall.

Even after reportedly dishing out at least $90 million in contracts on the first day of the new league year, Newsome is still willing to spend.

“We’re not done,” Newsome said. “I will say that.”

The Ravens have needs at receiver, cornerback, offensive line and linebacker, and Newsome said he’s “still looking to do some other things at receiver and maybe offensive line.”

Baltimore has reportedly shown interest in Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne, the former No. 6 overall pick.

“We still have the opportunity in free agency to address [the secondary], and then we’ll be looking forward to the draft,” Newsome said.

In addition to the marquee signings, the Ravens also reportedly re-signed special teamer Anthony Levine and backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Like every year, Ravens brass laid out the offseason plan during the January summit at Owner Steve Bisciotti’s home in Jupiter, Fla., and the leadership determined that the Ravens wanted to be aggressive early in free agency.

Newsome also explained that a strong understanding of the compensatory pick formula plays into their moves. Baltimore lost right tackle Rick Wagner and fullback Kyle Juszczyk to big deals on the open market, so that will offset the additions of Jefferson and Woodhead. The Ravens also saw guard Vlad Ducasse head to the Buffalo Bills, and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy is visiting other teams.

“I think we have educated ourselves on how the comp pick works,” Newsome said. “We know how to acquire players and still be able to keep some of our comp picks because we continue to lose high-value players to other teams.”

The Ravens don’t have much cap room left to sign high-priced free agents, but they could also create room if there is a deal they want to make. They’ve shown a willingness to part ways with experienced veterans the last few days by cutting Elvis Dumervil, Lardarius Webb, Kendrick Lewis and Shareece Wright.

Newsome was asked about the status of Dennis Pitta, who the team has reportedly asked to take a pay cut, and he said Pitta is “still a Raven.”

Newsome will continue to look for opportunities to patch remaining holes on the roster, but he also emphasized that the Ravens won’t get carried away in free agency.

“We still build this team through the draft,” he said. “And we’re sitting on seven picks, four in the top three rounds, so that’s going to play a big part in how this team looks when we get to September.”

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