Baltimore Ravens

Ravens mailbag: Why are some draft picks unsigned? What's the deal with OTAs? What vets might the Ravens add?

Even in the offseason, fans often tweet and email questions to Ravens reporter Jeff Zrebiec. Here are some of the topics coming up most frequently in those questions, and Jeff's takes on the subjects.

With the slotting system in place, why do the Ravens still have three draft picks unsigned?


A few things can factor into the rookie deals taking some time to get done. Sometimes, it's as simple as the agent having other priorities or the rookie not being in the building to officially sign his new contract. Other times, there's a minor sticking point or two in the negotiations.

That none of the NFL's top six overall picks, including the Ravens' Ronnie Stanley, have signed is presumably a result of teams wanting offset language written into their contracts. The top picks will have their four-year salaries guaranteed, but several teams will insist on offset language written in the deals, which will allow them to recoup some money if the player is cut before the conclusion of his rookie contract.


It isn't clear why third-round pick Bronson Kaufusi has yet to sign. Sixth-rounder Keenan Reynolds' deal is likely being held up by the player and team waiting to find out whether the Navy will permit Reynolds to join the Ravens immediately, or if he'll have to delay his NFL debut to fulfill service requirements. Regardless, these deals are pretty much a formality, so there's nothing to worry about at this point.

When will the players be back on the field?

The offseason workout program is ongoing at the Under Armour Performance Center. The next key date will be the start of organized team activities during the week of May 23. There will be three weeks of the three-day OTAs, followed by the Ravens' mandatory minicamp from June 14 to June 16. That will be the last event before training camp begins in late July.

Will all the players be at OTAs?

No. The workouts are voluntary and the Ravens don't spend a whole lot of time obsessing over who isn't there. That's left for the media to do. In the past, many of the team's more established veterans, a group that includes Marshal Yanda and Terrell Suggs, stay away from the team facility until the mandatory minicamp.

Who stood out at the rookie minicamp?

Reporters got to watch for roughly 90 minutes on one of the days, certainly not long enough to draw too many conclusions. Stanley looked very comfortable and was moving well. Pass rushers Matt Judon and Victor Ochi are physical specimens. Wide receiver Chris Moore was very active, even catching one ball while on his back. He juggled a few balls, but he flashed throughout. As for the tryout guys, North Alabama running back Lamonte Thompson might have been the most noticeable player on the field. He broke free on a couple of runs and on one long kickoff return. He reminded me of former Ravens running back/return man Bobby Rainey, just a little bit more explosive.

Will the Ravens make any post-minicamp roster moves?

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It's still possible, though it's surprising that it hasn't happened to this point. In past years, the Ravens added a tryout player or two following the minicamp at the expense of one of their undrafted free agents or a back-end roster player. There's been no roster movement since last week. Perhaps, the Ravens didn't feel like any of the tryout guys offered an upgrade from what they already have. In Thompson's case, the Ravens already have six running backs, so that would work against him.

Will the Ravens add any veteran free agents?

They likely will at some point before the start of training camp. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome usually signs one or two guys at this stage of the offseason. Today marks the first day teams can sign free agents without them counting toward the compensatory pick formula. The Ravens wanted to protect the one comp pick they'll likely get back for the loss of Kelechi Osemele. They've done that. Now, their task is to find help in a free agent market that has been thoroughly picked apart.

What positions/players could the Ravens be looking at?

This hasn't changed. With Jumal Rolle expecting to miss the entire 2016 season after recently tearing his Achilles and Jimmy Smith likely out until training camp after having a procedure done on his foot last week, the Ravens only have seven healthy cornerbacks. They need one or two more. The top free agent corners available are Leon Hall, Jerraud Powers, Chris Culliver, Antonio Cromartie and old friend Cary Williams.

The Ravens also could bring in another inside linebacker to compete with Arthur Brown, Zachary Orr and Albert McClellan to take snaps alongside C.J. Mosley. But there's no available inside linebacker that really stands out, unless you're an A.J. Hawk or Curtis Lofton fan.


Other than that, the only position the Ravens could use another player at is quarterback. As of now, and with Joe Flacco likely expected to be sidelined until training camp, the Ravens only have Ryan Mallett and Jerrod Johnson to throw to a deep group of wide receivers and tight ends. They need another arm, at least until Flacco is back. Jimmy Clausen is an available veteran who knows Marc Trestman's offense and could probably help the organization's young wide receivers.