ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Linebacker Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with Jameel McClain #53 after McClain sacked quarterback Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams during the game on September 25, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The Baltimore Ravens broke their unwavering silence this week with a flood free agency signings. So far the Ravens have added Corey Graham and Sean Considine, seemingly to add depth in their secondary and to bolster a special teams unit in dire need of rejuvenation. The Ravens also solidified depth at inside linebacker by re-signing Brendon Ayanbadejo and Jameel McClain.
Thus far, the Ravens’ biggest and arguably most important signing has been the re-upping of Jameel McClain to the tune of a three-year contract worth $10.5 million. As the possible heir to Ray Lewis, McClain has proven to be a great defensive player that has the potential to lead the whole defense and carry a full work load.
Unfortunately, up to this point the Ravens have left quite possibly their weakest unit untouched: their offensive line. Ben Grubbs left for the New Orleans Saints and the Ravens recently stated that 2nd-year right tackle Jah Reid is in line to take Grubbs’ place as the team’s starting left guard. Replacing the All-Pro left guard Grubbs with, let’s not kid ourselves; a rookie right tackle with limited NFL experience, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Hopefully the Ravens will be able to strengthen the offensive line through the draft or possibly even free agency.
(After the "Jump", see what Head Coach John Harbaugh had to say on the possibility of adding new players between now and the draft)
As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks now, the Ravens have remained very patient during free agency, but don’t rule out that the Ravens are done signing players. Per John Harbaugh, the Ravens may be on the verge of adding more pieces to their roster, but only if the timing and price fall in line with the Ravens’ priorities:
"I think further moves are possible. We would like to fill as many spaces as we can between now and the draft. You can only do that when the move presents itself. In other words, when there is a player available that can make your team better and the economics work out that you can actually get him, then you try to make a move."
As we’ve all come to learn, the Ravens don’t hastily or recklessly pursue or sign free agents. Every move is a carefully calculated balance between finding the right players at precisely the right price.
Though Harbaugh didn’t elaborate on which positions the team is specifically looking to make stronger through free agency, it may be safe to assume that the Ravens will, hopefully, show the offensive line some TLC. With the free agent market drying up however, the Ravens may be forced to fill roster gaps through the draft or even possibly waiting for a gem to slip through the cracks during training camps when several teams will inevitably make cuts, much like the situation in which the Ravens were able to scoop up left tackle Bryant McKinnie.
With almost exactly a month between now and the NFL Draft, look for the Ravens to sign some more outside free agents to fill out their roster.