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If and when free agency opens amid the NFL’s current labor upheaval, the Ravens have a concrete plan on what positions they want to target.
In a conference call with Ravens season-ticket holders Wednesday night, General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he will go after a veteran backup quarterback first and foremost, with pass rusher and fullback also figuring into the mix.
“We had a meeting [Wednesday], and those are the areas we talked about as we move forward that we will try to get better at,” said Newsome.
Quarterback will be key for the Ravens, who had a luxury with three-time Pro Bowler Marc Bulger backing up Joe Flacco in 2010.
Bulger figures to be one of the hottest names on the open market once the floodgates are breached.
But the Ravens have other uncertainties.
Should the NFL begin their 2011 League Year under the 2010 collective bargaining agreement rules, it would take six years of service to become a free agent.
If the NFL and players come to a new agreement that echoes the previous CBA, players with expired contracts who have been in the league four and five years could be signed by any team.
That would leave the Ravens with key contributors, like Pro Bowl fullback Le’Ron McClain, creating roster holes.
“It’s going to be a unique situation because we don’t know whether the four-year guys are going to be free or the six-year guys are going to be free,” said Newsome. “We’ve been working on formulas where we can deal with both.”