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Thursday, March 13, 2014
Time for Ravens to sign other teams' FAs

By Jamison Hensley

The Baltimore Ravens have been active to start free agency, signing three players and giving $38 million in guaranteed money. But there's been an obvious trend: every player signed has been their own free agents.

This shouldn't be seen as a negative because tight end Dennis Pitta, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and receiver-returner Jacoby Jones were the most important free agents to retain. Still, the Ravens know they can't keep the status quo. Bring back an 8-8 team and you're going to get another 8-8 season.

When it was reported that the Ravens entered free agency with close to $20 million in salary-cap room, there was an expectation that the Ravens would make more of a splash by this point. There were thoughts of the Ravens adding a wide receiver, free safety or center.

Instead, the Ravens are one of eight teams who haven't signed anyone else's free agents in the first two days. The others are: Carolina, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Houston, New York Jets, Oakland and St. Louis.

The Ravens now have approximately $14 million in cap space, and it's time to start upgrading by signing other teams' free agents. Here are some candidates for the Ravens' positions of need:

WIDE RECEIVER: Steve Smith (who is expected to get released by the Panthers on Thursday), Julian Edelman (New England), Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh) and Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants).

FREE SAFETY: Chris Clemons (Miami), Thomas DeCoud (Atlanta), Kendrick Lewis (Kansas City) and Champ Bailey (Denver, if he converts from cornerback).

MIDDLE LINEBACKER: If the Ravens are unable to re-sign Daryl Smith, their options are Wesley Woodyard (Denver), Brandon Spikes (New England) and Pat Angerer (Indianapolis, won't be fully healthy until June).

CENTER: Alex Mack (Cleveland, transition tag), David Baas (New York Giants), Brian de la Puente (New Orleans) and Kyle Cook (Cincinnati).