Predicting the Baltimore Ravens’ 5 Biggest Free Agency Moves
Predicting the Baltimore Ravens' 5 Biggest Free Agency Moves
The Baltimore Ravens are a week away from entering the 2014 NFL Free Agency looking to make a big splash to bolster their team. The Ravens will have about $26.4 million to spend to hopefully either re-sign one of their own or land a few free agents who can immediately contribute to put them back into the NFL playoff picture. The three main areas they definitely need to find upgrades for are on the offensive line, wide receiver and free safety positions.
Last year, the Ravens ended at 8-8 and just missed the NFL playoffs the year after their Super Bowl XLVII victory. Too many key players on that championship team either retired or moved on to other teams via free agency. Regardless, the Ravens were unable to bounce back from losing so many core players that were crucially important for them on and off the field. The lack of veterans and leaders on that team is what truly made the difference when it mattered most. Linebacker Terrell Suggs sure did a nice job replacing Ray Lewis as the defensive face of their franchise, but one man isn't enough.
As the Ravens look to solidify many of their needs when the free agency hits on March 11, their main goal is to get back into being contenders again in the AFC North. If the Ravens don't improve their offensive weapons as well as acquire a few key players in their defensive secondary, it'll be another long year come next season.
Let's take a look at predicting the Ravens five biggest free agency moves.
5. Alex Mack
Alex Mack is on top of the free agency list when it comes to offensive linemen. One of the best centers in the game, Mack would surely do an incredible job blocking on rushing plays as well as protecting quarterback Joe Flacco to let him shine. Despite the Cleveland Browns placing their transition tag on him, the Ravens would be smart to go after him even though there is a 50/50 chance he'd be willing to leave for another team inside the AFC North. Mack would be a tremendous upgrade on the Ravens' offensive line.
4. Hakeem Nicks
Hakeem Nicks is an interesting kind of wide receiver. Once a big threat down the field, Nicks has completely fallen off the radar this past season with the New York Giants. Injuries and no touchdowns last year make him a very inexpensive risk that the Ravens should be willing to take. Perhaps a change of scenery, uniform and a completely new team would help revitalize a once promising career.
3. Danny Amendola
Danny Amendola is coming off such a disappointing season last year with the New England Patriots that they are exploring any and all trade options. The Patriots figured he could make everyone forget about Wes Welker, but he hasn't lived up to any of those expectations. Perhaps the Ravens could work out some kind of deal to acquire a once prolific wide receiver to make him relevant again. Under Flacco, Amendola would most likely be inspired again to pump out big time plays under a whole new offensive system.
2. Eugene Monroe
Eugene Monroe is hands down the No. 1 ranked free agent offensive lineman this year and rightfully so. The Ravens are doing their best to renegotiate a new contract where both sides are satisfied to keep him on the team. At the moment, there is an issue with the financial terms of the deal which is keeping it from not taking fruition. It's in the Ravens' best interest to sign him before the NFL free agency hits as he will surely gain a ton of attention from several interested teams. Expect him to stay a Raven.
1. Jairus Byrd
Jairus Byrd is easily the No. 1 defensive secondary player in the NFL free agency. He won't come cheap, but with plenty of spending room for the Ravens, he would be one of the main anchors on their defense. The Buffalo Bills didn't franchise tag him and are done with contract negotiations to keep him on the team. It's clear Byrd desperately wants a change of scenery and wants to create a frenzy when his services become available for teams to bid on. Wouldn't it be a bold statement by the Ravens that they want to win another championship by acquiring the talents of a true shutdown safety? Byrd is one of the best at it which makes everyone realize just how great he would look in a Ravens uniform being a part of a franchise forever known for their defensive roots.