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Lardarius Webb signing a smart precursor to new deals for Ray Rice, Joe Flacco

It was surprising that the

Ravens

agreed to a contract extension with cornerback

Lardarius Webb

without first signing running back

Ray Rice

or quarterback

Joe Flacco

, but it was a good move by the team. During negotiations with star players, there are times when teams say, "Take the money now, or we move on to our next priority and sign him." That might not be the case in this situation, but I wouldn't be totally surprised if it was.

With Webb and second year cornerback

Jimmy Smith

under contract, the Ravens have two potential shut down cornerbacks while most teams in the

NFL

don't have one. Webb is just starting to enter his peak years, and Smith could become one of the better cornerbacks in the league. If they continue to progress, it would certainly help the Ravens pass rush.

As for Flacco and Rice, it's only a matter of time before they re-sign. Rice seems as if he wants to attend the various mini-camps, but his agent is advising him not to. I think Rice should remind his agent who works for who, and make his own decision.

I suspect that now Webb has a new contract, we'll be hearing more from Ravens

Pro Bowl

safety

Ed Reed

about not getting a new deal. Because of the injuries to his body and his constant threats about retiring, I wouldn't offer Reed a new long-term extension for a lot of money. Under his current deal, he will make $7.7 million this season. He should be happy with that and not complain. He certainly wasn't worth that kind of money a year ago.

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