After a fast and furious first week of NFL free agency, things have started to slow down around the league. The way the Baltimore Ravens were hemorrhaging players, the slower pace may be playing into the hands of the Ravens.
First and foremost was the Houston Texans’ courting Ed Reed, as they put on the full court press to lock up the services of the nine-time Pro Bowl safety. The courting started with Reed being picked up in a private jet, as the Texans looked to replace Glover Quin who signed with the Detroit Lions.
The status of Reed remains in limbo, as he is looking for a salary comparable to the $7.2 million he earned last season. The Texans offered Reed a contract in the $4-5 million range, but Reed remains unsigned as he looks for a bigger payday.
While the Ravens would like to keep Reed in Baltimore, they are preparing for life without him should he sign elsewhere.
Thus, the Ravens are taking a long look at safety Michael Huff, who was released by the Oakland Raiders. Huff has played seven seasons and was an All-Pro in 2010, so he still has plenty of football left in him. Again, the Ravens would like to retain Reed, but they must have a contingency plan in place, and Huff may be that plan.
Another intriguing free agent the Ravens have interest in is Elvis Dumervil. It appeared that Dumervil was set to take a pay cut to remain with the Denver Broncos, but his agent botched the paperwork making Dumervil a free agent.
With the loss of their top pass rusher Paul Kruger, Dumervil would be a perfect fit for the right price. He led the NFL in sacks in 2009 and has made the Pro Bowl three times. Dumervil is entering his eighth season, so he also has gas left in the tank.
Should Dumervil be too pricey for the Ravens, other options like Dwight Freeney, John Abraham and James Harrison are still out there. The Ravens could also address that need in the draft should they miss out on the remaining big name pass rushers.
Thus, after a bevy of players leaving Baltimore last week, the tides may be turning for the Ravens. If they can re-sign Reed and add a pass rusher to help ease the loss of Kruger, things won’t look nearly as bad as they did last week for the defending champs.