Predicting Where Ravens Free Agents Will Land
The folks over at Pro Football Focus are daring you to do a better job than them at predicting where their top 75 NFL free agents will land, including four Ravens that made the list.
Let's take a look at the rank of each Raven and his predicted landing spot:
OLB Pernell McPhee (ranked as No. 19 overall free agent)
Consensus pick: Indianapolis Colts. Other teams: Tennessee and Detroit.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome already said the Ravens won't pay market value for McPhee, all but confirming the pass rusher won't be back. There has been a pipeline of players from Baltimore to Indianapolis in recent history, especially along the defensive line with Cory Redding and Arthur Jones. CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported last week the Colts will be "very involved" when McPhee hits the market. They have expressed a desire to ramp up their pass rush, which trailed off after Robert Mathis left. Reports indicate McPhee could make up to $10 million annually, and the Colts have the cap space to add him.
WR Torrey Smith (No. 30)
Consensus pick: None. Teams picked: Cleveland, Carolina, New England, Miami, New York Jets and Ravens.
These predictions just go to show that anything is possible with Smith. The only prevailing thought seems to be that the speedy wideout won't return to Baltimore, as six of the seven analysts picked a departure. Last week at the season-review press conference, Ravens brass seemed to be bracing fans for a possible departure. Owner Steve Bisciotti talked about other teams potentially throwing big money at Smith, and the Ravens aren't in a salary-cap position to match big offers.
RB Justin Forsett (No. 42)
Consensus pick: Ravens. Other team: Dallas.
Forsett always seemed like a guy the Ravens wanted back, but it felt like he was an even higher priority than pundits previously thought when front office executives spoke last week. He fits the system, he proved he can produce, and he can be a mentor for a young back if the Ravens select one in the draft. Given the fact that teams don't usually break the bank for running backs, especially ones that are pushing 30 years old, the Ravens have a chance at retaining Forsett and the folks at PFF think it will happen.
TE Owen Daniels (No. 71)
Consensus pick: Ravens. Other teams: Denver, Miami and New York Giants.
There's always a chance that Daniels follows Gary Kubiak to Denver. The veteran tight end has never played for anyone else during his nine-year career. But the Ravens may make him a priority with Dennis Pitta's uncertain status and the inexperience of 2014 draft pick Crocket Gillmore.
There are 10 other pending Ravens unrestricted free agents that didn't make PFF's top 75 list. WNST's Luke Jones didn't predict each player's destination, but he did forecast whether they will stay or leave:
CB Antoine Cason: LEAVES
LS Morgan Cox: STAYS
CB Danny Gorrer: LEAVES
DE Lawrence Guy: STAYS
S Jeromy Miles: STAYS
G Will Rackley: LEAVES
OL Jah Reid: LEAVES
CB Aaron Ross: LEAVES
S Darian Stewart: LEAVES
QB Tyrod Taylor: LEAVES
Jacoby Jones Getting More Interest From Teams
It's been only about a week since wide receiver/returner Jacoby Jones was released by the Ravens, and he's reportedly already scheduled his third reported visit with another team.
After previously visiting the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans, Jones' free agent tour continues with the San Diego Chargers, according to reports.
Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal is about to become a free agent, and the team is looking to add receiver depth. Jones' biggest attribute is his explosiveness as a returner, which the Chargers would also benefit from.
The Ravens terminated Jones' four-year contract last week, reportedly saving them $750,000 against the salary cap and accumulating $2.625 million in dead money. At the time, Newsome predicted that Jones would find work elsewhere.
"We think he can still play in the NFL, and releasing him now allows him a better opportunity to land with another team," Newsome said.
Chris Canty To Meet With Jets
The second player the Ravens cut last week is also getting some free-agency bites.
Defensive end Chris Canty will visit the New York Jets on Friday and Saturday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
Canty has a connection with the Jets' new coaching staff, including Head Coach Todd Bowles and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers. All three worked together in Dallas when Canty played there (2005-2008).
After being released, Canty told The Sun last week that he appreciated the Ravens cutting ties sooner than later so he could get a head start on finding a new job.
If They Want Him, Ravens Will Have Competition For Johnson
Yesterday we explored the potential interest the Ravens could have in seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson. But what about looking at it from Johnson's point of view?
If the Ravens would like to pursue Johnson – and there has been no indication that they do – there could be some heavy competition.
ESPN's Jamison Hensley says the Ravens "should immediately show interest" if Johnson is released. "It's just a matter of whether the feeling would be mutual," he added.
Hensley believes the Colts, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots would also be potential suitors for Johnson, and like the Ravens, they are all Super Bowl contenders. But the Colts and Seahawks reportedly have over $25 million in cap space and could offer more money.
"So what are the chances Johnson eventually lands with the Ravens? The odds appear good but not great," Hensley wrote. "[T]he Ravens should be considered candidates to get Johnson, although certainly not the favorites. The Ravens would have to go after Johnson with the same aggressiveness they showed last offseason with Steve Smith. But the Ravens don't have the cap room to outbid teams."
The ESPN reporter believes that if the Ravens do land Johnson, he would become their No. 1 receiver, based on the assumption that Torrey Smith leaves and Head Coach John Harbaugh hinting at Steve Smith having a reduced role. Johnson, 33, is good for the short term, but the Ravens would also have to use one of their top draft picks on a receiver to get younger for the long term.
"The idea of lining up Johnson, Steve Smith and a playmaking rookie at wide receiver has to be enticing for Flacco and the Ravens," Hensley wrote. "They just have to convince Johnson that his best fit is with the Ravens."
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