Offseason moves show Ravens are poised to contend again

Ellerbe improved his work ethic and practice habits while in Baltimore, but he did like to party and there is going to be a lot of temptation in South Beach.

As for new contracts, no Ravens fan should complain about the recent deal quarterback Joe Flacco got after Dallas' Tony Romo signed a 6-year, $108 million extension with $55 million guaranteed.

At least Flacco has won a Super Bowl and been to the playoffs every season since coming to Baltimore as a rookie five years ago. Romo is 1-3 in the postseason.

Romo's picture is right next to the word "choke" in the dictionary.

J. Smith should stay put

One of the most asked questions is about the Ravens possibly moving third-year cornerback Jimmy Smith to safety.

I don't see that happening and it makes absolutely no sense at this time.

Smith hasn't been impressive since the Ravens drafted him in the first round in 2011, but he needs more time to develop because of several injuries that have forced him to miss extensive time.

The Ravens still believe he can become a quality cornerback in the league and they are also financially committed to him because of his draft status.

If all goes to plan, Smith will start at one corner opposite Lardarius Webb. The Ravens then move Corey Graham, a starter a year ago, inside to the nickel position.

Pees has pieces

Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees did a good job last season working with average talent, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do with this influx of players.

A year ago, the Ravens had really only one consistent pass rusher in Paul Kruger, and he didn't remind anyone of Minnesota's Jared Allen.

But this season Pees will have outside linebackers Dumervil, Terrell Suggs and tackle Canty, who can collapse a pocket and provide pressure inside.

It all depends on if both Suggs and Canty come into training camp healthy.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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