- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Less than a week ago, The Baltimore Sun reported that the Baltimore Ravens and free-agent offensive tackle Eugene Monroe remained far apart in negotiations. On Sunday, sources tell The Sun that there is "optimism" that an agreement can be reached.
What changed? It looks like Monroe lost the offensive tackle's version of musical chairs. According to the paper, Kansas City's Branden Albert is expected to sign with the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis' Rodger Saffold is headed for the Oakland Raiders, Oakland's Jared Veldheer is being targeted by the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati's Anthony Collins is likely to go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Ravens couldn't have asked for a better scenario, if it works out this way. It would take out Miami and Arizona, two teams who were expected to spend top dollar for a left tackle, and it could lower Monroe's price tag for the Ravens. After what has been a troublesome offseason, perhaps the Ravens are due for some good luck to start free agency.
Here's the rest of your wake-up caw …
John Eisenberg, of the team's official website, expects the Ravens to make a bigger splash than usual early in free agency. "I’m not saying the Ravens are going to wade into the melee waving fistfuls of cash and shouting “Who wants to come and get it?! That’s not their style. I don’t care how much cap room they have," Eisenberg wrote. "But there’s going to be more action than usual, maybe quite a bit more."
Wide receiver Torrey Smith addressed the Ravens' recent arrests -- three in less than a month -- with Fox TV in Baltimore, saying, "In the off season these are grown men with their own families. Unfortunately not everyone makes great decisions all the time and there's consequences for it. We'll be there to support them and their families whatever case may be and we hope they come about better from it and learn from their mistakes."
The Ravens reached a two-year deal with backup linebacker Albert McClellan, according to The Sun. McClellan led the Ravens with a career-high 12 special teams tackles last season. This allows the Ravens to avoid giving McClellan a one-year tender of $1.4 million as a restricted free agent.