Ravens Still Looking To Add Cornerbacks


The draft and most of the free agent activity may be over, but the Ravens are still plotting potential moves.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh made it clear during a conference call with PSL owners Tuesday night that the Ravens are still scouring the market for cornerbacks to add to the roster.

"We are still looking for defensive backs,"  Harbaugh said. "There's no doubt about it. We want to add some competition in there.

"Ozzie is working on that right now. Ozzie has said, 'We're not finished there.'"

A popular name linked to the Ravens in recent days has been former Patriot Kyle Arrington, who was cut by New England earlier this week. The seven-year veteran has started in New England since 2010, and he would immediately give the Ravens another proven veteran in the secondary.

Newsome didn't answer whether he is specifically interested in Arrington, but just that he's keeping a close eye on the free-agent market.

"There are a lot of players available right now that I have been on the phone talking to representatives of," Newsome said.

Regardless of whether the Ravens make a run at Arrington, they will still consider adding players who get released between now and the start of the season. Newsome has a good history of late signings – starting middle linebacker Daryl Smith was signed in June – and he could go that route again.

"This is the time of the year where because of the draft, teams start to tweak their rosters," Newsome said. "We'll be on the lookout not just for additions to the secondary, but for any other good players that may get released over the course of the next three months."

The NFL also tweaked a rule this year that is favorable to Baltimore. Teams no longer have to wait until June 1 to sign unrestricted free agents to keep them from counting against the compensatory picks formula.  The new date is May 13, so the Ravens could potentially sign unrestricted free agents Wednesday and they wouldn't cost Newsome any compensatory picks.

Adding depth to the secondary is important after a year where the Ravens were snake bitten with injuries. Baltimore had five cornerbacks land on injured reserve last year, and has already lost one this year when undrafted rookie Julian Wilson went down in minicamp.

Top cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb are both expected to return to full strength, and the Ravens are counting on them to make a difference in the unit.

"Jimmy is going to be a big part of what we're doing," Harbaugh said. "Ladarius is going to be healthy and that's going to be huge for us."

Harbaugh also stressed that he likes the potential of young players like Asa Jackson, Rashaan Melvin, Chris Greenwood and rookie fourth-round pick Tray Walker. With their continued development, getting Smith and Webb healthy, and potentially adding another piece, the Ravens expect the group to take a big step forward in 2015.

"I like our young guys," Harbaugh said. "Ozzie has said this before and I agree with this: We could play a game right now if we had to. We don't have glaring needs."

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