"Our approach is the same as it always is," Ravens coach
The Ravens are assuming a familiar pose as other teams, armed with sufficient salary cap space and extensive wish lists, jostle for position to woo the top free agents with aggressive recruiting pitches backed by huge contract offers.
They'll be one of the teams patiently sitting back, focused on re-signing a couple of their own unrestricted free agents and waiting for the market to calm down before they enter the bidding. When they do, they'll be looking to fill a couple of specific needs and add to the core of a perennial playoff team.
It is a philosophy that has worked well for the Ravens in the past, and their success, coupled by the team's salary-cap situation — better than in past offseasons but still not overly flexible — leaves little room for it to change.
The Ravens were about $16 million under the set $120.6 million cap after gaining an additional $1.6 million of relief Monday when the
However, tendering contracts Monday to three of their unrestricted free agents — cornerback
The Ravens, who didn't extend a contract offer to running back
"I'm very blessed to get a first-round tender!" Webb said on his Twitter page. "I guess everything is up in the air now!"
Most pundits believe the Ravens would match any offer for Webb, who has emerged as a shutdown corner, but they obviously hope it doesn't reach that point with so many other demands on their cap space.
With the remaining $10 million, they will also have to pay their draft picks, which won't be too pricey considering they pick so late (29th) in the first round and don't have a fourth-round pick after the
All four were key contributors as the Ravens finished the regular season 12-4 and were a few plays away from representing the
"We already have a strategy in place that will allow us to have the ability to sign players that we want to sign," Ravens General Manager
Newsome and other Ravens officials have made it clear that bolstering the offensive line, receiving and linebacking corps and adding a pass rusher are the team's biggest needs.
Along with signing quarterback
Grubbs agent, Pat Dye, didn't respond to a request for comment Monday, but he said two weeks ago that "anything that the Ravens present [to Grubbs], we would have to evaluate it in the context of what the market might bear to him."
The Ravens also have interest in re-signing linebackers
It's expected that all three will attract some interest, and the
The Ravens' other unrestricted free agents include tight end
However, the Ravens are bracing for the reality that their roster will again experience heavy turnover. That's become a fact of life in the NFL, and the Ravens have proven to be an organization able to withstand it. Last offseason, they lost eight key contributors either via release or free agency — running back
They know that they'll likely have to do the same thing next season, and they'll start finding out just how much they have to replace when free agency begins in earnest Tuesday afternoon.
Baltimore Sun reporter Matt Vensel contributed to this story