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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-14


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-14


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-14
The Ravens have lost three starters from a team that advanced to the AFC championship game: linebacker Bart Scott, center Jason Brown and safety Jim Leonhard.


The Ravens could promote Brendon Ayanbadejo, Tavares Gooden or Jameel McClain into Scott's inside linebacker spot. The team signed six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk to replace Brown. And Dawan Landry, who was on injured reserve for most of last season, will take back his starting job at safety.

The Ravens were able to keep two linebackers, re-signing Ray Lewis and using the franchise tag on Terrell Suggs. They also addressed their lack of youth at cornerback by signing Dominique Foxworth, 25, a Baltimore native.

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

The Ravens could use a deep threat at wide receiver. They could provide some depth at tight end behind Todd Heap. And they could pursue a kicker in the draft or sign a veteran after the draft.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Wide receiver: The Ravens have an adequate group with Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams. But the Ravens lack a deep threat. They also need someone who could develop into a No. 1 receiver when Mason either leaves or retires. It seems like Maryland's Darrius Hayward-Bey is on the team's radar for the draft.

2. Tight end: Based on last season, the Ravens can't rely on Todd Heap. He was a top option in Brian Billick's offense, but he never found success in Cam Cameron's system. The Ravens had to stick with Heap because there was no one left. Daniel Wilcox could get released after another injury-filled season. Quinn Sypniewski is coming back from knee surgery, but he is more of a blocking tight end. The Ravens need someone to be Heap's heir apparent.

3. Kicker. With Matt Stover not in the Ravens' immediate plans, they want to bring in competition for Steven Hauschka, last season's kickoff specialist. The Ravens could draft a kicker (they found punter Sam Koch in the sixth round) or add a journeyman like Nick Novak (University of Maryland), Billy Cundiff or Justin Medlock.

MEDICAL WATCH: WR Derrick Mason had surgery in February to fix his scapula and the labrum in his left shoulder. He expects to be ready to participate in offseason minicamps in May.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Terrell Suggs: tendered at $10.17M.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--QB Kyle Boller never developed into consistent starter. Expected to become backup elsewhere.

--QB Todd Bouman went from No. 2 to No. 3 on depth chart when Troy Smith became healthy. But he has been a source of good advice for Joe Flacco. Might be re-signed.

--WR Terrance Copper was injured during short stint with team. Not expected to return.

--CB Corey Ivy is a hard-nosed defender who lacks size and speed. Could follow Rex Ryan to the New York Jets.

--FB Lorenzo Neal became leader of the running backs. He should figure into the Ravens' plans next season.

--OT Chad Slaughter was a late addition last season who doesn't have a place on the Ravens' roster, which already has tackles Jared Gaither, Willie Anderson, Adam Terry and Oniel Cousins.

--K Matt Stover bounced back after a poor start. He will probably test free-agent market but give the Ravens a chance to match the best offer.

--TE Daniel Wilcox has seen his productivity suffer over two injury-filled seasons. Not expected to return.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

--RB P.J. Daniels (not tendered as RFA).

--TE Scott Kuhn (not tendered as ERFA).

--LB Robert McCune (not tendered as RFA) is a dependable special teams player. Might return.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--P Sam Koch (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) had best season last season and has become great at pinning teams inside the 10-yard line. Could receive long-term extension.

--TE Quinn Sypniewski (tendered at $1.01M with fifth-round pick as compensation) is a dependable blocking tight end.

--WR Demetrius Williams (tendered at $1.01M with fourth-round pick as compensation) saw injuries slow his progress, but Ravens still like his potential.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

--PK Steven Hauschka will have shot to become placekicker after spending last season as kickoff specialist.

--TE Edgar Jones is one of the most versatile players on team because he can play tight end on offense and rush end on defense.

--LB Jameel McClain showed flashes of being a playmaker on special teams and had limited action on defense.

--RB Jalen Parmele has value because he adds depth on special teams.

--S Daren Stone had a late penalty that proved costly in AFC championship game and it could hurt his chances of sticking with the team.

--NT Kelly Talavou spent last season on injured reserve after showing some potential on defense.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--SS Dawan Landry: Potential RFA; $1M/1 yr.

--LB Ray Lewis: UFA; $44.5M/7 yrs, $6.25M SB; 2009 cap: $5M.

--CB Derrick Martin: Potential RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--WR Marcus Maxwell (not tendered as RFA); 1 yr, terms unknown.

--DT Brandon McKinney: Potential RFA; terms unknown.

--CB Evan Oglesby (not tendered as RFA); 1 yr, terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--C Matt Birk: UFA Vikings; $12M/3 yrs, $6M guaranteed.

--CB Domonique Foxworth: UFA Falcons; $27.2M/4 yrs, $4M SB/$3.38M report bonus/$16.5M guaranteed; 2009 cap: $5M.

PLAYERS LOST

--CB Chris McAlister (failed physical).

--C Jason Brown: UFA Rams; $37.5M/5 yrs, $11M SB/$20M guaranteed.

--DE Marques Douglas (released).

--LB Nick Greisen (released).

--SS Jim Leonhard: UFA Jets; $5.9M/3 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--LB Bart Scott: UFA Jets; $48M/6 yrs, $22M guaranteed.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 14, 2009

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David Pittman Name: David Pittman
#24
Position: CB
Age: 24
Experience: 3 years
College: Northwestern State
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