"We have a history of retaining our players, especially players that have been productive," Ozzie Newsome said. "But also, we have a history of allowing our players to go out and maximize themselves in the market." (Kevin Richardson)
After a breakthrough season, veteran running back Justin Forsett declared he's looking for a long-term commitment from the Ravens.
General manager Ozzie Newsome indicated Tuesday that the team is in favor of retaining Forsett.
Forsett rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns as the replacement for Ray Rice, and he made the Pro Bowl as an alternate. Now that his one-year, $730,000 contract has expired, Forsett is hoping to sign a new deal with the Ravens.
Under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, Forsett can't sign a new contract until he officially becomes a free agent March 10.
If they can bring back Forsett, the Ravens are expected to pair him with a young running back. They met with Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), David Johnson (Northern Iowa) and Duke Johnson (Miami) at the NFL scouting combine.
"He doesn't have the wear and tear, and Justin did a very good job of coming in, competing and then being our bell cow," Newsome said. "We would like to retain Justin, but I've learned something since the end of the season about Justin that I didn't really know. He has mentored some very good, young backs, starting with Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew when he was in Jacksonville.
"Having Justin here, and with the opportunity also bringing in hopefully another young running back, to have Justin be around that guy would be an asset also. So, we will work to try to retain Justin."