For five weeks, the Ravens didn’t make a single roster move. But in the last 48 hours ahead of today’s 4 p.m. start to free agency, they’ve had a flurry of activity.
It started with Tuesday afternoon’s release of reserve defensive backs Shareece Wright and Kendrick Lewis. It continued Tuesday with the tendering of at least five of their six restricted free agents. It still isn’t clear if defensive back Jumal Rolle was tendered a contract.
Then, Wednesday, they terminated the contract of strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil and learned that free agent fullback Kyle Juszczyk (San Francisco), right tackle Rick Wagner (Detroit) and offensive guard Vladimir Ducasse (Buffalo) were signing elsewhere. Meanwhile, they closed in on re-signing quarterback Ryan Mallett and then adding running back Danny Woodhead and safety Tony Jefferson to their roster.
After 4 p.m. today, they can make those free-agent deals official. It figures to be another busy day for the organization’s top decision makers. Today we could/will see:
Ravens make a call on Mike Wallace: By 4 p.m. today, the Ravens will have to make a decision on the $5.75 million 2017 contract option on the speedy wide receiver. Declining it would create nearly $6 million in salary cap space and only fuel the speculation that the Ravens will reunite with Torrey Smith.
Brandon Williams make a free-agent decision: Two members of their “Big Three” free agents are gone and the Ravens anxiously await word about whether they’ll be able to retain their standout nose tackle. Both sides have been silent about the negotiations. The Ravens remain hopeful they’ll be able to lure Williams back.
Some clarity to Dennis Pitta’s future: The Ravens would still like to create more salary cap space and they’ve been negotiating with Pitta on a reworked contract that includes a pay cut. At some point, they’ll have to either get a deal done or cut the popular tight end loose. The Ravens would still have five tight ends on their roster if Pitta goes, but they’d prefer he stay around.
A decision made on Lardarius Webb’s status: Jefferson’s pending addition, along with the team’s cap situation, could force the Ravens to move on from their long-time defensive back. Cutting Webb would create $5.5 million of salary cap space.
More roster additions/subtractions: Those who wondered whether the Ravens would be active in free agency got their answer late Wednesday night. However, there will be more free agent deals and departures. Along with Williams, defensive end Lawrence Guy, wide receiver Kamar Aiken, cornerback Jerraud Powers and safety/special teams ace Anthony Levine Sr. are all free agents. Even if the Ravens finalize the deals for Jefferson, Mallett and Woodhead, they’ll still monitor the free agent markets at wide receiver, pass rusher, cornerback, inside linebacker and offensive line. They won’t have a ton of money to spend, but there will be still work to do.