5 Realistic, 5 Unrealistic Free-Agent Signings For Ravens
Free agency is approaching in March with the Ravens want to fill plenty of needs. There will be plenty of players on the market to help, but many of the names you recognize likely won't end up in Baltimore.
CSNMidAtlantic.com's Clifton Brown named five players that are unrealistic signings, and Baltimore Times' Turron Davenport named five low-key realistic options that are more affordable and fit the Ravens' scheme.
Unrealistic Options (per Brown)
- Chiefs S Eric Berry: "It might take a contract averaging around $10 million per season to sign Berry, who is still in his prime at age 27. The Ravens wouldn't venture into the high-rent district to bid for Berry, even though he would clearly be their best safety since Ed Reed departed."
- Bills LT Cordy Glenn: "Only 27 years old, Glenn has been the Bills' starting left tackle since his rookie season in 2012. However, Monroe still has three years remaining on his five-year, $37.5 million contract. Cutting Monroe would create $2.1 million in cap room, but it would also create $6.6 million in dead money. My guess is that Monroe returns, and that the Ravens hope he remains healthy following two injury-plagued seasons."
- Bears WR Alshon Jeffery: "Expect the Bears to use the franchise tag on Jeffery if they can't sign him to a long-term deal."
- Broncos OLB Von Miller: "He's simply too valuable and the Broncos have the franchise tag option to use. The Broncos already lost one premier pass rusher, Elvis Dumervil, to the Ravens three years ago. History won't repeat itself."
- Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul: "While it's not impossible that Pierre-Paul could be a Ravens target, the feeling around league circles is that the Giants, who also need pass rushers, will do what it takes to keep him."
Realistic Options (per Davenport)
- Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne: "Claiborne's time in Dallas has been marred by injury and extremely high expectations that come along with being a top ten draft pick. … A change of scenery would be a good thing for Claiborne. He would excel in the Ravens scheme and locker room environment without the pressure of always having to live up to a franchise's high draft pick status."
- Browns WR Travis Benjamin: "Benjamin is an electrifying player that can get downfield in a hurry. His speed on the outside would complement the deep passing ability that Joe Flacco possesses. Benjamin would likely come at a very reasonable price and add a big time speed element to a roster that is relatively lacking of burners."
- Chargers DE Kendall Reyes: "Reyes was the San Diego Chargers second round pick (49th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Ravens need to find ways to get pressure on the quarterback and Reyes would be a low cost way for them to add to their stable of defensive linemen."
- Panthers G Amini Silatolu: "Silatolu was placed on injured reserve because of a left knee injury that he suffered in November. If he can come back fully healed, he would be a solid option for depth along the offensive line."
- Eagles OLB Vinny Curry: "Curry would give the Ravens a player that can rush the passer and set the edge if he has to defend against the run. The Eagles just didn't seem to be a fit for Curry, which is why he mysteriously didn't have any career starts for them. … Curry is only 27 years old, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to sign him to a three or four year deal. He would combine with Za'Darius Smith and a likely high draft pick in the 2016 draft to form a solid trio of outside linebackers after Elvis Dumervil and Suggs move on."
Did Braxton Miller And Noah Spence Move Into First Round?
It's kind of amazing what one week in Mobile, Ala. can do for a prospect's draft status.
Two talented players were expected to be on the board when the second round came rolling around – good news for a team like the Ravens drafting high – but after a solid showing at the Senior Bowl they may have moved themselves into the first round.
"Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller and Eastern Kentucky pass-rusher Noah Spence were considered among the biggest draft risers from Senior Bowl week," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "Some believe Miller and Spence worked their way into the first round, which would be bad news for the Ravens."
The Ravens could use a premier edge rusher like Spence and a dynamic playmaker like Miller, but they would be a stretch at No. 6 in the first round, and now may not make it to No. 36.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) came out with their post-Senior Bowl mock draft, and they have Spence going as high as No. 9 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Spence has always been considered top-15 talent, it was more a question of off-the-field issues after being banned by the Big Ten for failed drug tests.
"If a team is comfortable with the off-field questions, Spence is a first-round talent and an immediate boost to the Bucs' pass rush," wrote PFF's Steve Palazzolo.
Miller did not make it to the first-round in PFF's mock draft, so it will be interesting to see where other draft gurus have him in updated mock drafts.
Oh, and in case you were wondering who PFF has going to the Ravens at No. 6 overall, they still get a receiver, and he is much more impressive than Miller at this point. PFF sees Baltimore will nab Ole Miss 6-foot-2, 210-pound pass catcher Laquon Treadwell.
"Baltimore was depleted in the secondary the last two seasons, but Treadwell's playmaking ability is too much to pass up," wrote Palazzolo. "He has the size to win the downfield battle against cornerbacks, and QB Joe Flacco is known for giving his receivers plenty of those opportunities. Treadwell can also make guys miss after the catch, as indicated by his 17 forced missed tackles that tied for 13th in the country."* *
Do Ravens Already Have A Braxton Miller On Roster?
One more note on Miller …
While he certainly shows potential as an electric playmaker, he isn't there yet after playing just one year at receiver in college. Plus, if you ask Davenport, the Ravens already have a player like him on the roster that is more polished … when he's healthy.
Joe Flacco's Favorite TV Show Growing Up
It's always fun to dive deeper into the mind of Flacco, who is usually pretty reserved in front of fans and media.
Yesterday he revealed his favorite TV show while growing up, and it's fun to see that he enjoyed a lil' humor. What's not to like about Ashton Kutcher, Wilmer Valderrama, Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Debra Jo Rupp and the whole gang?
See Where Harbaugh Got Motto, 'The Team, The Team, The Team'
When Head Coach John Harbaugh was first hired by the Ravens in 2008, he revealed what he believes are the three most important things in football: 1) the team, 2) the team and 3) the team.
You can trace that philosophy all the way back to legendary Michigan Head Coach Bo Schembechler, who Harbaugh knew as a child when his father was an assistant coach on Schembechler's staff.
Take a look at Schembechler's 1983 speech before a Michigan vs. OSU contest. Harbaugh sounds an awful lot like this.
Browns To Release Johnny Manziel
It appears the Johnny Manziel era in Cleveland is coming to an end – before he could throw a single pass against the Ravens.
After his latest incident involving a police investigation of an alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend, the Browns organization released the following statement:
"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization," Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown said. "His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time."
ESPN reported the Browns won't have enough salary-cap space to cut Manziel until the new league year begins on March 9.
Steve Smith Sr.'s Shout Out To Megatron
With Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson reportedly set to retire after nine NFL seasons, Steve Smith Sr. took to social media to give him a shout out.
"If his decision is final, good for Johnson for leaving the game healthy and on his own terms while he's still playing at a high level," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
"But his decision to retire as a 30-year-old further underscores how remarkable it is that Smith is preparing to play in his 16th NFL season. Smith will turn 37 in a little over three months."