As the Ravens look for ways to strengthen their team both in the short and long term, working out an extension with Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley seems like only a matter of time.
The former first-round pick is heading into the final year on his rookie contract, and an extension would free up money that the Ravens could use immediately and guarantee that one of their best defensive players will remain in Baltimore for many years to come.
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Ravens have engaged in early discussions with Mosley's agent, Jimmy Sexton.
"I did see Jimmy at the national championship game and we had a brief conversation about that," Newsome said Friday. "That was very early on in the process. We'd like to keep all our good players."
Mosley, 25, has made the Pro Bowl in three of his first four seasons. He's played in all but two games over the last few years and has been one of the most productive linebackers in the league. Mosley registered 132 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and a sack last year.
He is scheduled to carry a salary-cap hit of $8.7 million this year, but the Ravens could lower that number with an extension that spreads his signing bonus over several years. Mosley has also said he wants to stay in Baltimore long term.
Creating cap room is a priority for the Ravens before the new league year opens in two weeks. The Ravens currently have about $11.8 million in cap room, according to Spotrac, and would like to add to that number before looking to sign offensive playmakers in free agency.
"When we were in Jupiter, [Fla.] at our meeting, we have come up with ideas and ways to be able to create the type of cap room that we need to go get the type of players that we want to add at this portion of the season, the free-agent aspect of it," Newsome said.
Newsome also said the Ravens have talked with the agent for defensive end Brent Urban, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. The former fourth-round pick is a talented player, but has been hindered by injuries in his career.
Urban looked to be on the way to a breakout campaign last year before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 3. He is still working his way back from the injury, but the Ravens have indicated they want to keep him. Urban has echoed the sentiment that he wants to stay in Baltimore.
"All I need to do now is get back healthy and hopefully end up back in Baltimore," Urban said in January. "I love the organization and everyone here."