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Ozzie Newsome Will Listen If Teams Call To Trade


Ozzie Newsome let teams around the NFL know that his phone lines will be open draft weekend. 

As Newsome and Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta talked at Tuesday's pre-draft press conference, they made it no secret they'll hear offers from teams who want to move up to the No. 6 overall spot.

"Will we be open to listen? Yes," Newsome said. "But, you have to be prepared to pick, and we will be prepared to pick at No. 6."

The Ravens could certainly have suitors competing for their pick based on what happens with the quarterback market. Opinions vary on whether a quarterback will come off the board in the first five picks, but it's no secret that San Francisco is eyeing a signal caller with the No. 7 pick.

If Baltimore comes on the clock before a quarterback has been taken, then Newsome could likely start fielding calls from teams that want to move ahead of the 49ers. Even if one of the quarterbacks does get picked in the top five, a team behind San Francisco may still want to swap picks with the Ravens to keep the 49ers from taking the second-best quarterback. 

"We have a plan," DeCosta said with a grin when asked about the quarterback market. "We always have a plan."

If teams get really quarterback hungry, then the Ravens may have multiple offers on the table. That happened in 2012 when Washington traded with the Rams to move up to the No. 2 spot to take Robert Griffin III. The Rams acquired two additional first-round picks and a second rounder to move back just four spots.

"There are very few trades like what happened between the Redskins and the Rams, where all of the sudden it's too good to pass up," Newsome said.

There is fairly recent precedent of the Ravens moving back from a top-10 pick. Before selecting quarterback Joe Flacco in 2008, the Ravens moved back from their original No. 8 spot to No. 26 (they received two additional third-round picks and a fourth rounder for sliding back 18 spots). They then made another trade to move up to the No. 18 pick to get Flacco. 

In deciding whether to move down, the Ravens will make that call based on the offer presented to them and the players left on the board. If the Ravens have several players with generally the same grade still on the board, they won't hesitate to acquire an extra pick by moving back a few spots and still getting one of those prospects.

"I love to trade back because I'd say 50 percent of the time you're still going to get the same guy," DeCosta said. "In general, all things being equal, if you have the chance to trade back, get additional picks and still maybe get the same player, it's a no brainer."

The caveat is if the Ravens are staring at a player who is too good to pass.

The Ravens rarely have a top-10 pick, and they don't want to miss a chance to draft a player who could be a cornerstone piece of the franchise.

"The coaxing would be if you're actually going to trade away from a really good player, and there aren't a lot of really good players behind him," DeCosta said. "That's a much tougher thing to do. That doesn't happen a lot. A lot of times we'll just pick."

DeCosta recalled a story from 2010 when they were on the clock and another team offered them three fourth-round picks. But the Ravens wanted tight end Dennis Pitta because "he was by far the best player," rather than just accumulating the extra picks.

If Newsome and DeCosta decide that the offer they get is worth moving out of No. 6 pick, they do have the blessing from Owner Steve Bisciotti. Just like the men he has hired, Bisciotti loves to accumulate picks, and he would have no problem with that move.

"If the right deal is to move out of six, I trust my guys," Bisciotti said during an interview at the owners meetings. "It's a total value thing. If I'm getting more picks in the second and third round by moving out of six, it's still a cumulative benefit."

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