The NFL is open for business. Well, kind of.
The “tampering period” has been open for nearly a full day, and the action has been heavy. The tampering period allows agents and teams to begin to negotiate contracts, but no deal can officially be signed until the new league year opens Tuesday at 4 p.m.
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The free agent market took a dramatic turn after just one day. Reports are emerging today that Ndamukong Suh will sign a massive contract with the Miami Dolphins. LeSean McCoy has signed a new deal with the Buffalo Bills that might inflate the numbers at the running back position.
Thus far, the Baltimore Ravens have been totally silent. Don’t worry. Like the weather currently in Baltimore, things are about to heat up.
There is almost no chance that Pernell McPhee is coming back to Baltimore. It is looking more and more likely that Torrey Smith is on the way out. There are reports that other teams will be in the bidding for Justin Forsett.
There has been no update on potential changes in the contracts of Haloti Ngata or Lardarius Webb. The team does not necessarily need to get something done with both players, but at least one has to get done. The Ravens need the cap space and are running out of time.
The Ravens have an approach similar to that of the Baltimore Orioles. They rarely spend the big bucks on a free agent because they value their compensatory picks. They make smart business decisions.
That is what makes this offseason unique. The approximately $13 million in dead money against the cap has put the Ravens in a financial dilemma at a time when several key pieces are available. They need help at safety. Wide receiver is a necessity with Smith and Jacoby Jones gone. They must have a plan if Forsett does go elsewhere.
So the Ravens approach free agency with some envy. Some teams have already began the process of landing free agents. Todd Herremans, Darnell Dockett and Michael Oher are a few of the guys who are on the move. Other key free agents like Randall Cobb and Mark Ingram will re-sign with their current teams.
The Ravens will have to show patience when other teams will be spending like crazy. They will need to find the right player at the right price. So while the Ravens would love to be in the running for a DeMarco Murray, Devin McCourty or Jared Odrick, the finances make it impossible.
Tough decisions will be made. Within the next 24 hours, the Ravens will make some kind of announcement. Something has got to give in the battle with Ngata. Webb may or may not take a pay cut. The team will learn its fate with their own free agents.
The economics will make it difficult offseason for Ozzie Newsome. With so much dead money tied up into the Ray Rice fiasco, the Ravens need to make drastic decisions. That could start by cutting ties with one of their best defensive players.
Thanks again, Ray.
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