We are only just a few days into this NFL free agent frenzy and a lot has happened already. The Ravens have re-signed Marshall Yanda, released Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg, and Willis McGahee, signed a number of undrafted free agents, and much more is soon to come.
Much more after the jump…
The Baltimore Raven’s big unrestricted free agents are as follows:
- Chris Carr – CB
- Fabian Washington – CB
- Josh Wilson – CB
- Dawan Landry – S
- Chris Chester – G/C
- Jared Gaither – T
- Marc Bulger – QB
- Le’Ron McClain – FB/RB
- Tony Moll – T
Being realistic, I can only see a few of them returning. Marc Bulger wants out because he doesn’t want to backup, Le’Ron McClain has been talking a lot on twitter and teams are very in him, Gaither is talking to the Oakland Raiders, The Jaguars are very interested in Dawan Landry, Chris Carr is talking to the Jets, and numerous teams are in search for offensive linemen.
The competition out there is fierce and retaining players of good skill level who have millions of dollars waved in front of them is a hard thing to do.
The two players I am most worried about are Dawan Landry and Le’Ron McClain. Landry has been very solid at safety and is the only consistently healthy defensive back we have. Though he doesn’t get much praise, he ties the secondary together and replacing him will be no easy task. Luckily, Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski should be able to fill in if neccessary.
Le’Ron McClain is in my mind the best all around back on the market right now. He is one of if not the best fullback in the league and he is also an excellent ball carrier. He can catch out of the backfield and is an outstanding blocker. Keeping him looks unlikely at this point but he will be a great pickup for whichever team nabs him eventually.
I’m regret bringing up this topic but I suppose I have to. Nnamdi Asomugha is the biggest free agent on the market this year. Darrelle Revis and Nnamdi are the two best corners in the league and are able to shut down one side of the field. The teams that I hear are interested in Asomugha are the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Baltimore Ravens. So far, the Jets seem to be the front runners and are engaged in very serious talks with Nnamdi Asomugha. If the Jets acquire him, they will not only become the most hated team in the NFL, but also the hardest team to pass against.
I’ve seen tons of fans on Twitter and Facebook talk about the Ravens acquiring Nnamdi saying “The Ravens better get Nnamdi.” These people must be either ill-informed, ignorant, or both. Being realistic, the odds of the Ravens signing Nnamdi are slim to none. I’ve only heard a couple of rumors about the Ravens and Nnamdi and those have come from sources who are either biased towards the Ravens or are trying to gain publicity. Getting him means leaving a lot of players that the Ravens want back on their team hanging dry. The Ravens number one priority right now is re-signing cornerback Josh Wilson. If they do re-sign him, the chances of also getting Asomugha are almost gone.
I know it’s wishful thinking, but it’s just not very realistic. As much as I would like to see him in the purple and black, the Ravens would rather take care of their own first. Don’t count them out completely, but don’t get your hopes up either.
Many fans are also still upset about the release of Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, and Kelly Gregg. Let me start out by saying the Ravens plan on resigning them all as soon as possible. If they do not return, It will not effect the Ravens as much as you think.
Todd Heap is now 31 and his best days are behind him. Many fans forget that last year we drafted Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. Ed Dickson is a top 25 tprospect and should excel at tightend for the Ravens as he showed last year. The same can be said about Derrick Mason. The Ravens drafted two excellent receivers this year in Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss and Mason has started to show his age as of late. With Anquan Boldin and David Reed also on the team, the Ravens should be able to excel in the passing game.