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Ravens Trying To Retain Brandon Williams, But Won't Use Franchise Tag


The Ravens' biggest free agent, both figuratively and literally, is defensive tackle Brandon Williams.

Baltimore has been clear about saying it wants the run-stuffing anchor of its defensive line back, but the Ravens aren't going to go as far as putting the franchise tag on him.

"No, we're not talking about doing that right now," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The franchise tag for defensive tackles is projected at $13.5 million for one season. If the Ravens signed Williams to that, he would have the second-highest cap hit on the 2017 Ravens.

Williams isn't the Ravens' only free agent that they are actively pursuing. Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk and right tackle Rick Wagner are also high priorities.

"We're negotiating with those guys, we have been – the three guys you're talking about," Harbaugh said.

"We're trying to get that done, and I'm sure there's a lot of conversations going on with their agents right now. I saw Pat Moriarty scurrying through the hotel lobby and I've got my fingers crossed for all those guys."

Harbaugh said the Ravens have a "competitive offer" on the table to Wagner and definitely want to keep him. He also later said there were other Ravens free agents that they would like to retain, including backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.

However, Williams, who notched 51 tackles and one sack in the middle of the league's fifth-best run stopping defense, will likely come with the highest price tag and could be the first domino to fall.

On Tuesday, Williams was at the Under Armour Performance Center working out, wearing his Ravens gear and staying loose as free agency approaches on March 9.

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