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.
3! 2! 1! Happy new league year! The 2012 NFL year is officially underway, and it all kicks off with free agency. All is quiet here, though. To our knowledge, the Ravens have not yet re-signed any of their 12 unrestricted free agents, a list that includes Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs and defensive starters Jarret Johnson, Jameel McClain and Cory Redding. The Ravens have expressed an interest in retaining those players in particular, but they have also been aware that those players might want to shop for better offers on the free agent market.
There could be change for the Ravens this offseason, especially with former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano becoming head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. With Pagano in Baltimore, there were only two other AFC head coaches who knew the Ravens system and the value of certain players. But both New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis have been joined by Pagano. There will be a bidding war, or at least threats, on several of the Ravens other unrestricted free agents. Both Ryan and Pagano will go hard after linebackers Jameel McClain and Jarret Johnson. And even if they can't match certain offers, they can force other teams to over pay and cause eventual salary cap problems.
Last year at the NFL Scouting Combine, one of the Ravens' biggest needs was a cornerback and they wound up using two of their first five picks in the draft to address it, selecting Jimmy Smith (Colorado) in the first round and Chykie Brown (Texas) in the fifth.
The NFL scouting combine starts Feb. 22. In advance of the annual meat market in Indianapolis, staff writer Matt Vensel will examine each position and give Ravens fans the 4-1-1. In this post he looks at safeties, which include Mark Barron, Harrison Smith, Markelle Martin and Brandon Taylor.
Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston answers a selection of reader questions about the Ravens' 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game, how the team should move forward in the offseason, and much more.
Alongside Ed Reed, whom he calls "the best free safety to ever play this game," Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard is living the dream. The tandem has made quite an impact in their first season playing together.