Will Ravens Make Free-Agency Splash?

NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora sees Ravens addressing needs in the draft.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, February 20th, 2012 at 11:16 am | Categories: Ryan Mink

The Ravens are traditionally not a team to go out and get the biggest name on the free-agent market.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome has stuck by his credo of right player, right price.

This year, Newsome pointed to the offensive line, wide receiver and pass rush as areas he wanted to address.

Will they go to free agency to fill them?

NFL Network analyst Jason La Canfora doesn’t think so.

“I don’t suspect they’ll be making huge splashes in free agency,” he said.

La Canfora did have some bargains at wide receiver that he could see Baltimore pursuing.

But when it comes to centers and pass rushers, he doesn’t see a good fit.

At center, there are some big names such as San Diego’s Nick Hardwick, Houston’s Chris Myers and Green Bay’s Scott Wells. They might command more than Baltimore’s willing to spend.

“I see them probably drafting a center,” La Canfora said. “I don’t know that there’s going to be someone out there that makes more sense than going that route.”

In terms of pass rushers, the big names such as Houston’s Mario Williams generally don’t reach the open market, and if they do, they get mega deals.

La Canfora pointed to Indianapolis’ Robert Mathis as one that could be available, but beyond him, there were other veterans like Mark Anderson and Andre Carter, who spent this past season in New England.

“It’s very hard to address that need via free agency,” La Canfora said. “You’ve got to hit on them in the draft. That’s why teams are constantly drafting them, because a lot of them don’t hit. But you never know when you have that [New York Giants defensive end] Jason Pierre-Paul.”

Fans can’t rule out a trade either, however. Baltimore traded for wide receiver Anquan Boldin before the 2010 season and then for Lee Evans last offseason.

Last year, the Ravens were looped into trade rumors for Giants rusher Osi Umenyiora. There was a brief window in which he was allowed to pursue other teams, but Umenyiora ended up returning to the eventual Super Bowl champs and recorded nine sacks in nine games played.

“Something like that could make sense for [the Ravens],” La Canfora said. “But it’s rare that guys like that are actually gotten.”

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