Ravens Will Be Affected By No UFAs

Should the CBA situation drag out, the Ravens would be at a disadvantage.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, April 4th, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Categories: 2011 NFL Draft, Mike Duffy

The Ravens are typically one of the best teams in the NFL at nabbing undrafted free agents, but if the current labor situation continues through April’s selection weekend, the UFA silver bullet will be taken out of Baltimore’s holster.

“Once the draft’s over, we’re done,” said Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz. “There is no calling agents. There is no calling players. Really, one of the most fun parts of the draft is the ‘stock exchange’ of free agency. A lot of the guys really enjoy that.

“The scouts and coaches have fun doing it. It’s rapid-fire, and people are running around trying to see if we have a spot to sign some guy.”

At the most basic level, undrafted free agents fill roster spots. But in the Ravens’ case, one seems to emerge as a valued role player each year.

Led by area scouts Joe Douglas and Mark Azevedo, the Ravens’ UFA wrangling is almost unmatched across the league, having secured such talents as Jameel McClain, Bart Scott, Mike Flynn, Maake Kemoeatu and Will Demps.

Without a new CBA, the Ravens and the 31 other NFL teams will be handcuffed.

“The biggest impact would be post-draft free agency, from a college scouting standpoint,” said Hortiz. “This year, not having free agency to address team needs, you’re not as quick to say some guy’s a hair better.

“If you’ve signed Anquan Boldin, then you might say, ‘OK, we need a guy at this position.’ From that standpoint, you really can be truer to your board.”

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