Baltimore Ravens: Cornerback Options Available


Attention all free agent cornerbacks who are interested in signing with a championship caliber team for the 2015 season. Keep your phone close by because Ozzie Newsome might be calling.

The Baltimore Ravens held a conference call with PSL owners Tuesday night and made it pretty clear that they are indeed in the market for a veteran cornerback. Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh learned the hard way how difficult it becomes when the secondary starts to go down with injuries. The Ravens have a terrific duo of starting cornerbacks in Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb, but are filled with question marks after that.

"“We are still looking for defensive backs,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no doubt about it. We want to add some competition in there.“Ozzie is working on that right now. Ozzie has said, ‘We’re not finished there.’”"

The NFL made an adjustment to a rule this season in which it is no longer required to wait until June 1 to acquire free agents without it counting against the compensatory picks formula. The purpose of the rule change was to allow players a better opportunity to participate in a team’s offseason program, rather than having to wait until after June 1 to find a new club. The new date was yesterday, May 12, so it’s certainly possibly that by the end of the day their is an entire crop of free agents scooped up around the league.

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We all know that Ozzie and his staff have mastered the art of waiting until the post-draft free agency period to find free agents. The Ravens put a high value on those compensatory picks and that’s mainly because they wait until this time to sign available veterans. The lone free agent that the Ravens picked up this offseason that will count against the compensatory program is Kendrick Lewis. Because Matt Schaub was cut by the Oakland Raiders, his addition will not count against the compensatory picks.

Logically, a lot of Ravens fans were screaming for the team to go after the recently released Kyle Arrington of the New England Patriots. Arrington immediately vaults to the top of a rather thin crop of free-agent cornerbacks. Our FanSided affiliate over at Ebony Bird has already touched on whether the Ravens should sign Arrington. The Patriots also haven’t ruled out a return, and Arrington is likely to be looking for a starting job so it’s unlikely he will end up in Baltimore.

So who are the Ravens targeting? Here are three choices the Ravens could go with:

Antoine Cason

The Ravens signed the veteran corner late last season after he was cut by the Carolina Panthers in the second half of the season. The 2008 first-round pick out of Arizona State has enjoyed a respectable career in the NFL and saw action with Baltimore over the final two weeks of the regular season and in the playoffs. Cason hasn’t generated much of a buzz in the open market and should be available if the Ravens were satisfied with his performance in the latter portion of the season.

Javier Arenas

Arenas was a highly sought after coming out of college after earning All-American honors his senior season and the Kansas City Chiefs selected Arenas in the second round of the 2010 draft. He was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and was primarily a reserve player. He played in six games for the Atlanta Falcons last season, posting 10 tackles while not making any starts. While he hasn’t impressed in recent seasons, Ozzie Newsome does have an affection for Alabama alumni and could give the former Crimson Tide a chance to earn a spot in Baltimore.

Jarrett Bush

The Green Bay Packers are reportedly keeping tabs on Bush after losing two cornerbacks to free agency, but the Ravens could possibly pry him away because of need as well. The undrafted corner from Utah State has been a key cog in the Packers secondary for the past nine seasons, and has value on special teams which Harbaugh covets in reserve players.

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