Through the first two days of free agency, tight end Ben Watson, who is coming off a career-best season with 74 catches for 825 yards and six touchdowns for the New Orleans Saints, has been the Ravens' only free-agent addition.
A day before the free-agent market officially opens and just hours after learning that Kelechi Osemele was unofficially headed to the Oakland Raiders on a record-breaking contract, the Ravens reached a tentative agreement with tight end Benjamin Watson on a two-year deal. The 12-year veteran had 74 catches for 825 yards and six touchdowns last year for the New Orleans Saints.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome touched on a number of topics today at the NFL scouting combine, acknowledging that Justin Tucker is likely headed for the franchise tag and there is no sense of urgency to rework Joe Flacco's contract.
To make up ground in the AFC North as well as the conference, the Ravens need to have a quality draft because they might not have enough salary cap room to bring in high-profile free agents. The team's draft record has been disappointing since the late 2000s when the Ravens selected players who made an immediate impact, like guards Ben Grubbs and Marshal Yanda in 2007 and quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice in 2008.
Having already served a four-game suspension to end his rookie season, Ravens tight end Nick Boyle will now be banned for the first 10 games in 2016 after again being found in violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Ravens general manager-executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said the organization will discuss the ballooning salary cap figure in quarterback Joe Flacco¿s contract next weekend when the team¿s highest-ranking officials meet in Florida to discuss the upcoming offseason.
As the offseason began Monday following the conclusion on Sunday of a bitterly disappointing 5-11 season, many Ravens said the biggest additions the team can make over the next couple of months are the healthy return of frontline players.
This is what the 2015 season has come to for these Ravens who play the two-time defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks on Sunday without their starting quarterback and possibly their backup, too. And that's just the beginning for an offense that has been torn apart by injuries, leaving seldom-used reserves as sudden starters, and former practice squad players as important contingency plans.
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has decided not to play this season after doctors told him it would be unsafe to do so. Team officials and the coaching staff were on the side of the doctors. And, I'm guessing, so were even the most diehard fans of Baltimore football.
As he enters his second NFL season, Crockett Gillmore acknowledges that he has a lot to learn, but he has become the leader of the league's youngest tight end group out of necessity. When the Ravens open the regular season against the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Sports Authority Field, they can look to the opposite sideline for a reminder of the young movement that they've undergone at the tight end position.