Currently the Baltimore Ravens have 13 Unrestricted Free Agents. Which are the team likely to attempt to resign and which are they likely to let go?
Antoine Cason, Cornerback – Cason is 28 years old and in the prime of his career. He is a former first round pick (27th overall) of the San Diego Chargers. Cason, at 6’1”, 195 lbs, is slightly smaller than starting Cornerback Jimmy Smith (6’2”, 205 lbs.) and could solve one of the Ravens’ nagging needs. A combination of Jimmy Smith as the No. 1 CB, Cason as the No. 2 Corner and Lardarius Webb as the Slot Corner makes sense. I expect the Ravens to attempt to resign this 2014 late season acquisition.
Morgan Cox, Long Snapper – This is a “no brainer”; although Cox was on injured reserve for most of the 2014 season, he is still one of the best Long Snappers in the league. The Ravens will try to keep Cox.
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Owen Daniels*, Tight End – Despite what has been said about Daniels playing another year, he might decide to retire. He might also be tempted to follow his old coach, Gary Kubiak, to Denver. With the questions surrounding Dennis Pitta’s health, the inexperience of Crocket Gilmore and the uncertainty over Phillip Supernaw’s ability to be the starting Tight End, the Ravens might try to re-sign Daniels but only at a “Thrift Store” price. Personally, I don’t see Daniels returning.
“Forsett’s price will likely be too high for the Ravens and Forsett will leave in free agency.”
Justin Forsett*, Running Back – The Ravens would probably like to have him back, especially in light of the likelihood that Bernard Pierce, whose contract runs out at the end of the 2015 season, will not be wearing purple and black next season. The remaining Running Backs, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Tauren Poole are largely untested. Forsett’s price will likely be too high for the Ravens and Forsett will leave in free agency.
Danny Gorrer, Cornerback – Gorrer was an emergency acquisition last season who had been cut previously by the Ravens. He is a role player, not a starter, and I would be surprised if the Ravens make Gorrer any kind of an offer. Gorrer most likely will not be back.
Pernell McPhee, Linebacker – McPhee is one of the better Ravens D Linemen/Linebackers. The Ravens will probably make a strong effort to keep McPhee in Baltimore.
Jeromy Miles, Strong Safety – Miles, like Gorrer, is a role player. He did not start for the Bengals nor was he a starter in Baltimore. Expect the Ravens to pass on any effort to re-sign him.
William Rackley, Guard – Rackley isn’t a bad player but he has issues with staying healthy. He spent major portions of 2012, 2013 and 2014 on Injured Reserve. Although he is a Guard, primarily on the left side, the Ravens played him at Left Tackle (during Eugene Monroe’s absence) and he acquitted himself well but got hurt in the fifth game of the season. The Ravens might try to resign him but only at a team friendly price.
Jah Reid, Guard-Tackle – Reid might have worn out his welcome in Baltimore. The Ravens will probably go in a different direction and let Reid walk.
Aaron Ross, Cornerback – Aaron Ross is 32 years old. He spent almost all of 2014 on Injured Reserve with back problems. Although he could be a good player for the Ravens, it would not be a surprise if the team makes an effort to re-sign him but his price must be “team friendly.”
Darian Stewart*, Strong Safety – Like Gorrer and Miles, Stewart is a role player and like the aforementioned Gorrer and Miles, he is a career back-up. The Ravens are not expected to bring Stewart back.
Torrey Smith*, Wide Receiver – The Ravens would like to have Smith back although he is clearly not a No. 1 receiver. There are a lot of reasons to bring Smith back but it must be at the right price. Smith reportedly turned down at 5 years/$35 Million offer with $19 Million guaranteed. Unless some team makes a desperation offer (like Miami’s offer for Mike Wallace), Smith will be back in Baltimore and the offer might not be as generous as the one the team proffered at the beginning of the 2014 season.
“Unless some team makes a desperation offer (like Miami’s offer for Mike Wallace), Smith will be back in Baltimore”
Tyrod Taylor, Quarterback – The market will not be great for Taylor given the lack of success demonstrated by other “running” Quarterbacks. Some will argue that Russell Wilson’s success would indicate that there is still a place for “running” QBs but a closer examination will show that Wilson is a “pass first” QB who scrambles to get out of trouble. Yes, Wilson has designed runs in his bag of tricks but that is not the norm for him. The question for Taylor is “have the Ravens decided to go in a different direction?” Expect the Ravens to make a token effort, at best.