John Harbaugh Addresses Ravens Contract Talks

The next three weeks are a critical time for the Ravens.

NFL's free agency period opens March 10, and the Ravens have a handful of questions to answer before the league's annual spending spree begins. An item at the top of the list is working out a deal for impending free agent Torrey Smith, who has said he wants to remain in Baltimore and would like to reach an extension before hitting the market.

Smith isn't the only question for the Ravens, as the team could also try to extend key veterans to free up salary cap space going into free agency

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is heading into the final year of his contract with a cap hit reportedly worth $16 million. Cornerback Lardarius Webb still has three years left on his deal, but his cap hit is reportedly $12 million. The Ravens could try to renegotiate or extend both players.

The contract talks with all three players were a topic of questioning when Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh met with reporters at the combine Wednesday.

"I believe those guys all want to be back and we want those guys back," Harbaugh said when asked about Smith, Ngata and Webb. "That should bode well and we should have a shot to get them back."

Running back Justin Forsett, tight end Owen Daniels and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee are also unrestricted free agents, but Harbaugh didn't address their potential returns.

Harbaugh recently spent some time with Smith as spectators at a Maryland basketball game, and the head coach joked that he used the time to give the big-play receiver a pitch about re-signing with the Ravens.

"I gave him a little encouragement, and a little recruiting effort," Harbaugh said.

The contracts and upcoming free agency period will likely be hot topics again next week when Harbaugh, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Owner Steve Bisciotti talk with reporters Tuesday in Baltimore.

"That's not something that I'm involved with day-to-day as far as that contract stuff," Harbaugh said. "Ozzie, [Sr. Vice President of Football Administration] Pat Moriarty, those guys are involved with that. They give me updates and things like that."

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