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Ravens Options At Left Guard?

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When free agent guard Evan Mathis spurned the Baltimore Ravens to re-sign with the Philadelphia Eagles, there went a solid chance to replace Ben Grubbs at left guard and save some decent money at the same time. However, Mathis went home to Arizona to discuss the Ravens offer and then accepted a great deal from his former team. Mathis' five-year, $25.5 million deal was a lot more than what most people thought the journeyman veteran would receive, and the Ravens had no shot to counter-offer.

That leaves the Ravens without a definite answer right now to play left guard in 2012. Does the team continue to wait to see what guys will be released as teams cut high-priced veterans in the future? Do they sign another free agent, such as the under-achieving Robert Gallery or reportedly soon-to-be released Eric Steinbach (Cleveland Browns)? Who else is out there that might be a fair-priced option?

The Ravens could also take the risk to wait for the NFL draft next month to select a rookie to start on the line right away. That might be a risk that the Ravens do not want to take, as their offensive line is the key to QB Joe Flacco's success, much less to open holes for Ray Rice to dart through. The next week or so will be a key to deciphering what the team has planned, but then again, they did not bring in current left tackle, Bryant McKinnie until after Training Camp started last summer.