Wilson could be next free agent signed by Ravens

Now that the Ravens' priority -- Marshal Yanda -- has agreed on a deal, who's next?

A source said the Ravens have shown interest in cornerback Josh Wilson, but he's gauging his market value with other teams. The sides aren't currently close on a deal. Wilson has expressed interest in returning to the Ravens after spending his first season with the team last year.


Because he was traded to the Ravens two weeks before the season opener, Wilson didn't start until midway through the 2010 season, replacing a struggling Fabian Washington. His speed and ability to play man coverage allowed him to break up a career-best 15 passes last season.Here's a ranking of the Ravens' 13 unrestricted free agents, based on priority to Ravens and not overall playing ability:

1. Josh Wilson, cornerback: Fans are campaigning for Nnandi Asomugha, but Wilson figures more into the Ravens' price range. The Ravens got great value after trading a fifth-round pick to Seattle for Wilson last year, and the plan wasn't necessarily to rent the former Maryland standout for one season. His age (he's 26), playmaking ability and chemistry with the secondary makes him very attractive to the Ravens, who need a veteran defender with Jimmy Smith being a rookie and Domonique Foxworth coming off a major knee injury.

2. Chris Carr, cornerback: There are plenty of reasons for the Ravens to keep Carr. He's smart, dependable and versatile. But it's assumed that the Ravens won't be able to bring back both Carr and Wilson. Another snag is Carr wants to remain a starting cornerback if he returns to the Ravens. The Ravens can't guarantee that.

3. Marc Bulger, quarterback: Everyone has Bulger playing next season for Cincinnati, Miami or San Francisco. That might be jumping the gun. The Ravens really want a proven veteran to back up Joe Flacco, and Bulger enjoyed a season where he wasn't the defense's tackling dummy. The biggest hurdle is finding another $3 million for Bulger with a salary cap back in effect.

4. Le'Ron McClain, fullback: The only way the Ravens keep McClain is if they can lure him back to fill the big-back role of Willis McGahee, who will get cut Thursday. The Ravens are probably looking to pick up a block-first fullback (perhaps Cleveland's Lawrence Vickers) to rev up the running game.

5. Chris Chester, guard-center: Chester has never appeared happy with how the Ravens have used him, and the Ravens want him to get stronger before making him the heir apparent to Matt Birk at center. Since the Ravens didn't draft a center, Chester could be their best option next year as the top backup there.

6. Dawan Landry, safety: The Ravens have never made strong efforts to retain other players who started next to Ed Reed (Will Demps and Jim Leonhard). Landry almost certainly will draw interest from the league. Plus, the Ravens could plug a less expensive option (Tom Zbikowski) into the starting lineup. If teams surprisingly don't pursue Landry, the Ravens would welcome the chance to keep him.

7. Prescott Burgess, linebacker/special teams ace: The Ravens didn't extend a restricted free-agent tender to Burgess, who has led the Ravens in special teams tackles the past two seasons. But he should be able to be retained at a minimal cost.


8. Tony Moll, guard-tackle: Adequate backup who should come cheap. The question is whether the Ravens truly want him back.

9. Jared Gaither, offensive tackle: This was Gaither's 2010 recap: a foot problem, unexpected weight loss and a back injury. That's three strikes. The Ravens can't depend on Gaither anymore, and Gaither wants to play left tackle. Time for both sides to move on.

10. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, wide receiver: He wasn't happy last season as the team's No. 3 wide receiver. So, imagine his reaction when the Ravens drafted receivers in the second and fourth round. The Ravens appreciated his experience, just not his outspoken style.

11. Donte' Stallworth, wide receiver: The Ravens' fastest wide receiver finished with more rushes (five) than catches (two). There were rumblings that the Ravens didn't trust his hands. Whatever the reason, chalk this up as a failed experiment.

12. Fabian Washington, cornerback: A stand-up guy who needs a change of scenery after getting benched two times in his Ravens career.

13. Kevin Houser, long snapper: The only way Houser receives an invitation back is if Mogan Cox (torn ACL in December) isn't healthy enough to take back his job.


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