'Legal Tampering' Begins Saturday

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Let the negotiations begin.

The NFL's "legal tampering" period begins Saturday at 12 p.m., as teams are allowed to begin negotiating with free agents set to hit the open market. Free agency technically opens Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The three-day window gives teams a chance to explore the interest of various free agents, and start hashing out contract details. This is the second year of the newly instituted policy, which was created to eliminate illegal tampering that took place in recent years ahead of free agency.

The Ravens are expected to be busy over the weekend, as General Manager Ozzie Newsome indicated last month at the NFL Scouting Combine that they could be active players in the free agent market.

"If we feel like there's a free agent that could come in and impact our football team, then I think that would be someone that we would be attracted to," Newsome said. "We will use every avenue this year to make our team better."

The Ravens also have money to spend this season.

They are reportedly about $25 million under the salary cap – the most during Head Coach John Harbaugh's tenure – and that money could allow them to address needs at safety, wide receiver and offensive line.

In addition to talking with other players this weekend, the Ravens' current free agents can also start wading into negotiations. Players like left tackle Eugene Monroe, linebacker Daryl Smith and defensive lineman Art Jones can all test the market to see what their value is.

Jones even tweeted Friday that his time in Baltimore could be coming to a close.

"It's crazy to think this maybe my very last happy purple Friday wishes," Jones wrote. "Hopefully not. But as we all know business is business." For a full overview of free agency, check out our free agency primer.

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