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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-13


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-13


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-13
The biggest offseason change for the Ravens so far was promoting Greg Mattison from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator. He replaces Rex Ryan, who became head coach for the New York Jets.


Now, the question is how much will the personnel change on defense. Three starting linebackers (Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Bart Scott) are scheduled to become free agents at the end of the month. The general consensus is the team will sign one to a long-term deal, use the franchise tag on another and let someone go elsewhere.

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

The Ravens will push hard to re-sign Ray Lewis before the end of the month. If they can't keep him off the free-agent market, he'll likely sign elsewhere.

The team probably will use the franchise tag on Terrell Suggs for a second straight season. The priority next year will be to sign him to a long-term deal.

The Ravens will also look to keep center Jason Brown and kicker Matt Stover, both of whom will likely test the free-agent market.

TOP THREE TEAM NEEDS

1. Wide receiver: The Ravens have one consistent receiver in Derrick Mason. But he is in his mid-30s and is more of a possession receiver. The team needs to find a deep threat who can complement Joe Flacco's big arm.

2. Cornerback: Chris McAlister is expected to get cut, which would free up $8 million in salary cap space. The team has another aging cornerback in Samari Rolle. The Ravens did improve their depth by trading for Fabian Washington, but they don't have any young talent here.

3. Tight end. Todd Heap will return even though he didn't click in Cam Cameron's offense. After Heap, there is no one left. Daniel Wilcox is expected to be 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 who can replace Heap in the next coming seasons.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

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.

--C Jason Brown flourished in his first season as a starting center. He might have priced himself out of what the Ravens are willing to pay him.

--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.

--SS Jim Leonhard replaced injured Dawan Landry and became one of the best surprises on the team. But Ravens might not have the money to keep Leonhard, who could join Rex Ryan with the Jets.

--LB Ray Lewis became even more valuable when defensive coordinator Rex Ryan left to become head coach of the New York Jets.

--LB Robert McCune is a dependable special teams player. Might return.

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

--LB Bart Scott hasn't been the playmaker of a few years ago, but he is still strong against the run. Because Ravens are locked on keeping Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, Scott seems to be the odd man out.

--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.

--LB Terrell Suggs is an emerging playmaker and is expected to get the franchise tag for the second straight season. The Ravens believe he has yet to reach his full potential.

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

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--P Sam Koch had best season last season and has become great at pinning teams inside the 10-yard line. Could receive extension.

--SS Dawan Landry experienced a spinal cord concussion that sidelined him for most of the season. Has yet to be cleared for contact. Could retain starting job. It'll be interesting to see what level tender the Ravens will give him.

--CB Derrick Martin has some potential and could develop into a nickel back. Will return.

--WR Marcus Maxwell was a non-factor as a receiver and average on special teams. Could return.

--DT Brandon McKinney added valuable depth on the defensive line. Will return.

--CB Evan Oglesby is a solid special teams player and adequate defender. Could return.

--TE Quinn Sypniewski is a dependable blocking tight end. Will be given low tender.

--WR Demetrius Williams saw injuries slow his progress, but Ravens still like his potential. Will be given low tender.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHS FREE AGENTS: Unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

PLAYERS LOST: None.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 13, 2009

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Demetrius Williams Name: Demetrius Williams
#87
Position: WR
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: Oregon
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