Free agency will start in a little over a month, but two things have become apparent: it's going to be tough for the Ravens to upgrade at center and the Ravens are in line to lose several defensive free agents.
The Ravens are expected to receive three or four compensatory picks -- likely four -- which would bring their number of picks for next month's NFL draft to 12. That's a lot of ammo for general manager Ozzie Newsome should the Ravens choose to move up, down and all around or acquire more picks for next year¿s NFL draft. Here is a look at what the Ravens have done in the past when they entered a draft with nine or more draft picks.
The NFL offseason heats up on Tuesday when the free agency period begins and the NFL draft will take place next month. In anticipation of those events, blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will look at six key positions the Ravens might address in free agency and the NFL draft in the days leading up to the start of free agency. Today, he looks at safeties.
It's tough to look at the Baltimore defense and not see that the Ravens are starting four former undrafted free agents and that a trio of recent second-round draft picks is coming off the bench. Jimmy Smith, a 2011 first-round pick, will become a starter Sunday because cornerback Lardarius Webb suffered a season-ending knee injury. They smartly nabbed their other starting cornerback, Cary Williams, off the Tennessee Titans practice squad. Of the 14 defensive players they drafted from 2007 to 2011, only two are starters and six are no longer with the team.
Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard was rewarded this month with a contract extension, a deal that can keep him in Baltimore through 2015. Pollard made 75 tackles and broke up a career-high 13 passes in 2011, but Pollard insists his attitude and his play won't change now that he has a new deal.
In a span of a couple of hours last night, the Ravens signed wide receiver Jacoby Jones, reached a contract extension with veteran safety Bernard Pollard, agreed to terms with three of their draft picks and learned that star pass rusher Terrell Suggs had successful surgery to repair a torn Achilles¿ tendon.
With the 130th pick (fourth round) in the 2012 NFL draft, the Ravens selected South Carolina State safety Christian Thompson. He moved to free safety in his senior year there after playing strong safety as a junior.
Every weekday until tomorrow, the day before the first round of the NFL draft, The Sun will examine where the Ravens stand at each position, the likelihood that they will address that spot early in the draft and some of the prospects that they may consider. Today is defensive backs.
Shortly after bolstering their special teams unit by agreeing to terms with former Chicago Bears defensive back Corey Graham, the Ravens have reportedly kept a core special teams player of their own in house by reaching an agreement with three-time Pro Bowl player Brendon Ayanbadejo.
Free agent defensive end Mark Anderson, who had 12 1/2 sacks in 19 games for the New England Patriots last season, was at the Ravens complex in Owings Mills today to meet with team officials, according to league sources.
On Friday morning, safety Haruki Nakamura became the latest Ravens free agent to sign elsewhere, agreeing to terms with the Carolina Panthers. He is the fourth of the team¿s 12 unrestricted free agents -- and the third member of a Ravens defense that ranked No. 2 overall in 2011 -- to depart.
The Ravens were several hours into trying to recruit Ben Grubbs' potential replacement when they learned Thursdaymorning that their Pro Bowl left guard had reached a long-term agreementon with the New Orleans Saints.