The Ravens could explore less pricey options like New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, who can also play cornerback, Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea, San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner and Miami Dolphins safety Chris Clemons.

"The Ravens probably can't afford Byrd and wouldn't pay that much for a safety unless he's the second coming of Ed Reed," Corry said. "I think they could get Jenkins for $4 million per year. He might undercut some of the other guys. He might be the Ravens' best option in terms of budgetary constraints."

The Ravens aren't expected to spend big for an offensive guard or center, but could look for proven blockers later during the signing period.

The Ravens have enough money to go after several players, but that doesn't mean they necessarily will or should.

"Free agency is an overpayment situation," said former Indianapolis Colts general manager and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian during a conference call. "The best players are already signed. These are 'B' players whose agents are looking for 'A' money. That is not the best of buys."

By remaining patient and allowing prices to drop as players become anxious to land a contract, the Ravens could wind up saving money and obtaining more players.

That could allow them to potentially work on contract extensions down the road for one of their better young players like wide receiver Torrey Smith.

"You don't want to pay retail in the first few days of free agency," Corry said. "Some very good players will be available later. That's when it becomes a buyers' market instead of a sellers' market. Winning free agency doesn't mean you'll make the playoffs.

"Look at the Miami Dolphins last year and the Philadelphia Eagles' so-called Dream Team. If I'm the Ravens, I save some of that money for Torrey Smith."

awilson@baltsun.com

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