The past week since our last update in this offseason series has been more quiet than hoped for just this past Monday. I ended last week near the hour when it was hoped Eugene Monroe would either be signed to a multi-year deal or kept by the application of the franchise tag. Neither happened, nor has it since then, in spite of reports of ongoing negotiations.
What are the chances of Monroe being kept? They would appear to be much less than a week ago, though not impossible. At this point, it looks like the tackle will at least explore possibilities in free agency, and there might be a lucrative deal with the Dolphins or another team with resources to possibly make it happen. Monroe is in the first handful of all desired free agents.
Daryl Smith is another Raven in a similar situation and with team desire to be kept. Offers have been made to both, as well as to Jacoby Jones, Arthur Jones, and Corey Graham. Harbaugh called these “aggressive offers” and joked about how Newsome is surely getting weary of him calling to see if anything has happened.
So, this week is the calm before the storm. Free agency officially begins on Tuesday and the Ravens are going to be active. With about $25 million in resources – the most ever during Harbaugh’s era – there is going to be money spent and players secured. Mmultiple possibilities and scenarios could eventuate; this is going to be interesting. Certainly not all who are listed here will be back – some will, but maybe more will not.
What is certain is that there are needs on the Baltimore Ravens roster, particularly the offensive line. Flacco needs more targets, there is a need at safety, and even the running backs situation is tenuous.
An interesting angle would be signing former Maryland high school star Ben Tate of the Houston Texans. His previous state rushing record was broken just this year by Isiaha Smith of South Hagerstown – here is my article on that from this past winter. Here is a guy who played in the past for Gary Kubiak and had a breakout season this past year. He is only age 25. Tate compiled 771 yards rushing with 140 more on 34 receptions. Clearly this is the type of back that would fit in the new offense.
So, this is currently the calm before the storm. Right now, I’m packing my gear for an out-of-town lecture in North Carolina… loading up my bags with all the books and resources I need to talk about the Iron Brigade at the Battle of Brawner’s Farm – yep, I’m a geek. And I suspect the Ravens’ brass is doing the same sort of prep – getting ready for a crazy week ahead. We will know a good bit more about the makeup of the 2014 Ravens very soon.