The quiet buzz before the NFL free agency storm

Today’s start of the NFL’s free agency period will bring hype, hope and anticipation to many football cities across the country. But in Baltimore, fans will start to hold their breath at 4 p.m. as they wait to see if

Ben Grubbs

finds a better deal elsewhere than the one the


have offered him to remain here, and they will be crossing their fingers that their pricy, purple

Jarret Johnson

jersey won’t become obsolete by day’s end.

We expect to chase some Ravens news today, but it’s more like to be about one or more of the team’s 12 unrestricted free agents bolting Baltimore than it will be the Ravens signing a big-name free agent. If you read our sports section this morning while chugging down coffee, it probably felt as if you have read


, but I’d hard to argue with the team’s patient approach in free agency. They like most of their players and their first priority is keeping them around. And then they'll go from there.

That’s why there is very little chatter about the Ravens making a play for someone like

Vincent Jackson


Mario Williams

even though both would be welcome additions. The Ravens have enough salary cap space to make a splash if they wish, but they say their focus is on keeping Grubbs and other key free agents and reaching long-term contract extensions for

Ray Rice


Joe Flacco

and possibly

Lardarius Webb


So with T-minus four hours and counting until free agency, what’s the buzz out in the blogosphere in regards to the Ravens?

When it comes to the Ravens retaining their own free agents, the conversation starts in Indianapolis, where the


are amidst a roster overhaul under new coach

Chuck Pagano

(remember him?). And with the Colts having oodles of cap room,

The Indianapolis Star

has indicated that the Colts may pursue Johnson, defensive linemen

Cory Redding


Brandon McKinney

, and safety

Haruki Nakamura


The Indianapolis Star

, who was recently released by the Ravens.

There has also been media speculation linking Johnson and inside linebacker

Jameel McClain

-- both were starters for the Ravens in 2011 --

. Might Redding, another starter,

? And Nakamura, a backup during his four-year tenure in Baltimore, could garner interest from the


in addition to Pagano’s Colts.

Meanwhile, Grubbs is expected to have a number of suitors in addition to the Ravens, who have put a strong offer on the table for the

Pro Bowl

guard. The

Dallas Cowboys


Washington Redskins

, who were hit by cap penalties from the NFL, could be in the market for guards, and according to


, respectively, those teams still plan to spend in free agency. The Bengals, the Titans and the

Chicago Bears

seem like logical fits for Grubbs given their needs and salary cap space, though

The Chicago Tribune

writes that


Will Grubbs be back? Who will stay and who will go? You’ll get some answers today -- some welcome, some not. Stay tuned.