The first wave of free agency is now behind the Ravens.
And it was a busy week in Baltimore.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome worked out deals with some of the team’s top free agents, and also brought in one of the biggest names to hit the open market this offseason.
Let’s take a look at the moves the Ravens have made during the early days of free agency.
Keeping Pitta in Baltimore was one of the top priorities heading into the offseason, and the Ravens made sure to prevent another team from stealing him away. The Ravens worked out a long-term deal with Pitta before they had to use the franchise tag on him, allowing them to keep the connection between him and quarterback
The Ravens got their left tackle for a great deal after he briefly tested the open market. Monroe signed a five-year deal reportedly worth $37.5 million, with $19 million guaranteed. Keeping Monroe in Baltimore gives the Ravens the franchise left tackle they been searching for since Jonathan Ogden retired.
The Ravens retained the anchor in the middle of their defense by signing the veteran middle linebacker to a four-year contract. Smith was the team’s leading tackler last season and quickly became one of the team’s leaders during his first season with the Ravens.
The speedy wide receiver and return man tested the market with a trip to the New York Giants before deciding that Baltimore was “the one place that would really let me be myself.” Jones agreed to a new three-year deal the same day he visited the Giants.
The Ravens retained Miles to give them a valuable special teamer and additional depth at safety. Miles played well on special teams after the Ravens signed him last season, and they were able to re-sign him at a good price.
Wide Receiver Steve Smith
Newsome said coming into the offseason that he wanted to add a reliable receiver who can move the chains, and Smith is a perfect fit. The Ravens acted quickly after Smith was cut by the Panthers, and they signed the 14-year veteran just 24 hours after he was released. Smith brings an impressive resume and toughness to the Ravens, and he bolsters a receiving corps that was a priority this offseason.
Defensive Lineman Arthur Jones
The former fifth-round pick signed with the Colts soon after free agency opened March 11. He went tothe Colts on a five-year deal reportedly worth $33 million, which was more than he would have been able to get from the Ravens. Jones falls in line with recent defensive players like Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe who capitalized with big contracts after having a strong season during their final year in Baltimore.
Cornerback Corey Graham
The Ravens were interested in keeping Graham, but he agreed to a three-year deal reportedly worth $15 million with the Buffalo Bills. Graham is a Buffalo native who grew up rooting for the Bills, so signing with Buffalo also had personal incentives for him.
Right tackle Michael Oher
The former first-round pick signed with the Tennessee Titans Friday night, agreeing to a four-year deal reportedly worth $20 million. Oher’s departure leaves a hole at right tackle, which the Ravens could try to fill through the draft or by moving a young player like
Linebacker Jameel McClain
The Ravens went into free agency by clearing some salary cap space so that they could be active on the open market. They released McClain as part of that effort, but expressed interest in eventually bringing him back to Baltimore. They won’t get a chance to re-sign McClain, as the veteran linebacker signed with the New York Giants late last week.
Who Is Still Out There?
Ihedigbo visited with the Detroit Lions last week, and the two sides appeared interested in working out a deal at the time. Ihedigbo still needed to hire an agent before finalizing the deal, but he suggested that he would eventually end up in Detroit reuniting with former Ravens Secondary Coach Teryl Austin, who is now Detroit’s defensive coordinator.
The news has mostly been quiet for Dickson, who is coming off disappointing seasons in back-to-back years. He has garnered interest from the Lions and Giants, but has yet to sign a deal.
The former second-round pick has not generated much interest on the market. Cody struggled to hold onto a starting job during his four seasons with the Ravens, and is seen more as a role player.
The 12-year veteran’s future is in jeopardy, and he could ultimately decide to retire this offseason. The Ravens signed Clark during training camp last season after the injury to Pitta, and he could be available late in the process again.
There has not appeared to be much interest in the reserve running back, who had four carries for 14 yards last season.