The Baltimore Ravens will have a number of decisions to make on its key free agents this off-season. The team has 13 unrestricted and four restricted free agents and decisions will have to be made sooner rather than later on who stays and who goes.
Here are the 13 unrestricted free agents:
RB Ray Rice, LB Brendon Ayanbadejo, C Matt Birk, G Ben Grubbs, G-C Andre Gurode, LB Jarret Johnson, LB Edgar Jones, LB Jameel McClain, NT Brandon McKinney, S Haruki Nakamura, DE Cory Redding, TE Kris Wilson and SS Tom Zbikowski.
Here are the four restricted free agents:
CB Lardarius Webb, CB Cary Williams, LB Dannell Ellerbe and RB Matt Lawrence
1. Running back Ray Rice. Look, Rice isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the Ravens will slap the franchise tag on him if they can’t hash out a long-term deal with the fifth-year veteran.
2. Linebacker Jameel McClain. An undrafted free agent rookie out of Syracuse University, McClain has been developed by the Ravens for several years now, so in a perfect world they would love to keep him. However, Baltimore could replace McClain with Ellerbe or a high draft pick if McClain gets a better deal elsewhere.
3. Cornerback Lardarius Webb. It’s expected that the Ravens will put a first-round tender on Webb, a restricted free agent, to ensure he will remain with the team.
1. Left Guard Ben Grubbs. It would be hard to fathom the Ravens dishing out another huge contract to Grubbs after signing fellow guard Marshal Yanda to a five-year, $32.5 million deal, a season ago. But, if the Ravens can get Rice under contract long-term, the team could franchise Grubbs.
2. Linebacker Jarret Johnson. As much as the Ravens would love to keep its iron man, the team is looking to go younger, quicker and cheaper at the position. However, if the price is right, Johnson’s return to the Charm City for the short-term, wouldn’t be totally unexpected.
3. Center Matt Birk. At 35, having dealt with a multitude of injuries over the past few seasons, Birk’s playing days not only in Baltimore, but in the NFL may be numbered. Backup Andre Gurode, who is a free agent, could a short-term solution if Birk decides to call it quits.