What's next for Ravens after their flurry of free agent activity?

Nose tackle Brandon Williams will remain a Raven. He’ll speak at a news conference Monday in Owings Mills. The Ravens’ two new additions – safety Tony Jefferson and running back Danny Woodhead – are in town today and will be introduced at a news conference later this afternoon. Quarterback Ryan Mallett’s one-year, $2 million deal is finalized and the Ravens can check backup quarterback off their list of needs.

So, what’s next?

The prevailing question from Ravens’ fans is about how much salary cap space the team still has in which to make moves. The easy answer is not a lot, but it’s hard to be any more specific until the team’s free-agent additions have taken and passed physicals and their deals are finalized. You have to see the year-to-year breakdown of the deals before determining their impact on the 2017 salary cap.

However, they entered the week in the bottom six of the NFL in terms of cap space. With the addition of Jefferson, the Ravens released safety Lardarius Webb on Friday morning, creating $5.5 million of cap room but also incurring $2 million more of dead money on their cap.

And while they subtracted Elvis Dumervil, Shareece Wright and Kendrick Lewis, they also tendered all six of their restricted free agents at $1.79 million a pop, made Williams the highest-paid nose tackle in the league at $10.8 million per year, made Jefferson the NFL’s sixth highest-paid safety at $9 million per year and also added Woodhead and Mallett.

Rick Wagner’s departure leaves the Ravens with a void at right tackle, and the only obviously internal candidates to replace him are the much-maligned Hurst and developmental tackles De’Ondre Wesley and Stephane Nembot. The top free agent tackles still available are Kelvin Beachum, Ryan Clady and Sebastian Vollmer who is reportedly considering retirement. The best-case scenario would be signing former first-round pick D.J. Fluker, but he might be pricey and there’s been speculation that he wants to find a home at guard going forward.

Ideally, the Ravens would like to upgrade at center over Jeremy Zuttah, but I’m not sure there’s anybody available that would present that opportunity other than Nick Mangold. It’s unclear what sort of deal Mangold is looking for after a long stint with the New York Jets.  

Source link