Predicting The Future Of 2014 Baltimore Ravens Unrestricted Free Agents
Predicting The Futures Of 2014 Baltimore Ravens Unresticted Free Agents
It’s time for Madame Dan (that’s me) to look into his crystal ball and look at the futures of all the unrestricted Baltimore Ravens free agents. I was planning on doing this article a few weeks down the road, but dang nab it, I couldn’t wait anymore. The funny thing is that I did the same column over the summer. I dug through my archives and bam! "2014 Baltimore Ravens Free Agents: Who Stays And Who Goes?" Of course, with this new up to date version, as some players from my summer version are no longer on the team like Billy Bajema and Chris Johnson. A few new faces that were added close to the start of the season and during the season will be included in version 2.0.
The Ravens officially have 14 players on the current roster who will be free agents on March 11, if not re-signed before then. Those players are Dallas Clark, Ed Dickson, Terrence Cody, Corey Graham, James Ihedigbo, Arthur Jones, Jacoby Jones, Jeromy Miles, Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher, Dennis Pitta, Bernard Scott, Daryl Smith and Brandon Stokley. When determining who will stay or go, I’ll consider all factors, like salary cap, depth at the position, and on field production. I’m also going to be as realistic as possible and not just pick all of my favorites to stay.
The following are my up to date predictions of who will stay and go for the Ravens in the 2014 season. As always, enjoy the slideshow and go Ravens!
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Unfortunately, Arthur Jones will probably be this year's version of Danelle Ellerbe. Jones is a good player that had a good year, but some team like the Cleveland Browns will overpay. The Ravens are also confident that Deangelo Tyson could possibly step into Jones role in 2014. Jones is a goner.
Bernard Scott was picked during the season to be the No. 3 RB behind Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Scott had a few carries, but didn't make much of an impact. In fairness, I don't even think Barry Sanders could have run behind the Ravens' porous O-Line. Scott was a stop gap and nothing more. He's gone.
Technically, Brandon Stokley is a free agent, but he announced late in the season after his latest injury that he would be retiring. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Stokley won't be back with the Ravens next year.
Jimmy Smith finally began living up to his first round talent last year, and with that you could say that maybe Corey Graham is expendable. Although, as the No. 3 CB, Graham led the team in interceptions with four. Seeing as I don't see any other team shelling out the dough for Graham, I see the Ravens bringing him back with something like three years, $6 million. He stays.
This might be one of the hardest one's to predict. Daryl Smith was clearly the Ravens' best linebacker last year. Filling the spot previously occupied by the great Ray Lewis, Smith was a tackling machine that could also rush the passer and create a few turnovers. Seeing as Smith was a late bargain bin pickup and is 31 years old, I see the Ravens coming up with a fair deal to keep him in Baltimore for the remainder of his career. He stays.
No way the Ravens let Dennis Pitta go. Pitta has a great chemistry with Joe Flacco and the Ravens' offense really struggled without him. I see a franchise tag in Pitta's future, followed by a long-term contract at somewhat of a discount due to Pitta's major hip injury he suffered in training camp. He stays.
Dallas Clark was nothing more than an emergency stop gap after the Pitta injury. He had some flashes of greatness, but clearly his best days are behind him. He's gone.
It seems like every year the Ravens have a guy who makes crazy circus like catches, but will drop the easy ones. That's Ed Dickson in a heartbeat. Although Dickson was drafted one round before Pitta in the same draft, Pitta turned into the big receiving threat that Dickson was supposed to be. Sometimes, players just don't live up to expectations. He's gone.
For the first time in franchise history, the Ravens made a in season trade. They acquired Eugene Monroe from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fourth and fifth round picks in this year's draft. Monroe was one of the few bright spots on a weak offensive line. Seeing as Monroe is a solid LT that the Ravens gave up two picks for, I would believe that he will be the Ravens' top priority to re-sign. Monroe could also be a candidate for the franchise tag if it's not used on Pitta. Either way, Monroe will be back in Batimore. He stays.
I have to admit I was wrong about Jacoby Jones. Over the summer, I said Jones was no more than a kick returner and one trick pony as a receiver. The Ravens might have had a losing record this year if it wasn't for Jones -- the man was electric and provided an intimidation factor on kick returns. If the salary cap wasn't an issue, then the Ravens would bring him back in a heartbeat. The sad thing is that at around $4 million or $5 million a year, I don't see the Ravens paying that when they have a lot of other needs to fill. When Jones signs with other team in a few months, someone remind me not to check my Twitter that day. He's gone.
James Ihedigbo was a pleasant surprise this year, playing the position once held by hard hitting Bernard Pollard. In the State of the Ravens' press conference Ozzie Newsome said one of the team's needs in the offseason is an athletic safety. That pretty much put the writing on the wall for Ihedigbo. Matt Elam played FS this year, but is more suited to play the SS role that Ihedigbo occupied. Although I would love the Ravens to keep Ihedigbo as a backup, he proved that he deserves to be a starter in this league. He's gone.
Who the heck is this guy? Jeromy Miles was an in-season signing, brought in basically to play special teams. From what I saw, he was pretty solid. There's no doubt that he'll come with a cheap price tag, so I believe he'll back. He stays.
The consensus amongst Ravens fans is that Michael Oher is a goner. In this case, I'm going with the consensus in saying Oher won't return. With him and Monroe both free agents, it's unlikely that both would come back next year. Seeing as Monroe is a solid LT and Oher is a false start machine RT, Oher will be "Blindsided" if he expects to be back in Baltimore next year (see what I did there?). He's gone.
In the summer, I predicted that Terrence Cody would be a goner, and I'm sticking to it. He had a better year than I thought at DT, but the Ravens drafted Brandon Williams for a reason. He's gone.