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Baltimore Ravens

Free agent Courtney Upshaw visiting New York Jets

For the first week of free agency, Courtney Upshaw's market was unclear. But he could be getting closer to finding a new home.

Upshaw, 26, will be at the New York Jets facility Thursday for what is believed to be his first free-agent visit. Upshaw is considered one of the top free-agent outside linebackers still available.

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A second-round pick by the Ravens in 2012, Upshaw didn't miss a game over four seasons for the Ravens. He started 51 of 64 regular-season contests and played significant snaps as a rookie in 2012 when the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII.

He has 177 career tackles, five sacks, seven passes defended, two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. But Ravens coaches and teammates were quick to say that Upshaw's value went well beyond statistics. Used primarily on rushing downs in a platoon with pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, Upshaw's primarily role was to set the edge in the running game, and he performed it well.

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With Terrell Suggs sustaining a season-ending Achilles injury in Week One of the 2015 season, Upshaw got more opportunities to rush the quarterback and he finished with a career-high two sacks. However, he never showed the type of pass-rushing ability that the Ravens hoped he would develop coming out of the University of Alabama.

Ravens officials conceded earlier this offseason that it was going to be tough to re-sign Upshaw. The Ravens are expected to get a healthy Suggs back and also were pleased with the development of rookie outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith last offseason. The Ravens also want to acquire another pass rusher, likely in the draft.

Upshaw's status does carry some significance for the Ravens going forward. If he signs elsewhere, that would increase the Ravens' chances of getting a third-round compensatory selection in next year's draft for the loss of offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele to the Oakland Raiders.

Fox Sports first reported last night that Upshaw was visiting the Jets.


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