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A Little Friday Fun: Become the Ravens' General Manager

With free agency and the draft about to begin, and the recent releasing of players that the Baltimore Ravens have executed, I thought I’d do something more interactive and fun for today.

In today’s day and age, social media has brought us the ability to remain connected to our favorite teams and players with up-to-the-minute reports. News flies from source to source until it ends up on your phone, tablet, or computer screen. Even though we are constantly bombarded with updates about player signings/releases, contract information, and everything in-between, what if you were the one calling the shots and making the news?

So, for this post, don’t predict what you think the Ravens may do this off-season, instead, you be the Ravens’ general manager. Pretty big shoes to fill considering the Ravens employ one of the best GMs out of the entire NFL in Ozzie Newsome. Think you can do a better job?

Who do you cut loose to free up salary cap room? Fancy a trade? Maybe you have your sights set on a certain player in the upcoming draft and package a deal to move up and grab him, maybe you move back for more picks? It can be anything you want; you’re the GM after all. Think of this as fantasy football, the off-season edition.

(After the "Jump", use a breakdown of the Ravens’ current cap situation and a list of free-agents-to-be from around the NFL to help you in your quest to make this the best Ravens’ off-season ever.)

Before we move on, I’d like to suggest a couple of tiny ground rules. First, let’s not go all "Madden" with this post. I’d prefer if your off-season moves as the GM were, for the most part, realistic. Meaning, your cap space isn’t three-four trillion dollars; it should be closer to what the Ravens’ actual cap number is and/or will be, but more on that soon. Second, the only pool of players from which you can sign through free agency are this off-season’s free-agents-to-be, of which I will name some of the more well known prospects for certain positions of need that pertain to the Ravens.

Your tools to success this off-season:

For a current up-to-date look at each team’s salary cap space, follow the link: here. Bear in mind that the final salary cap number that each team must follow has yet to be released by the NFL, but is expected to be about $120 million. As you can see, the Ravens were under the salary cap by only about $4 million before the releasing of cornerback Chris Carr with a total cap number of about $116 million. With the Ravens cutting Carr and more players about to receive their walking papers, the Ravens should have a little breathing room to move about in free agency.

Free Agent Wide Receivers (most notable but not limited to): Vincent Jackson (San Diego), Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis), Marques Colston (New Orleans), Brandon Lloyd (St. Louis), Robert Meachem (New Orleans), Mario Manningham (New York Giants), Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh, Restricted), Randy Moss (Free Agent).

Free Agent Running Backs (most notable but not limited to): Mike Tolbert (San Diego), Peyton Hillis (Cleveland), Benjarvus Green-Ellis (New England), LaDanian Tomlinson (New York Jets), Michael Bush (Oakland), Le’Ron McClain (Kansas City), Marshawn Lynch (Seattle).

Offensive Linemen (most notable but not limited to): G Carl Nicks (New Orleans), C Chris Meyers (Houston), G Evan Mathis (Philadelphia), C Scott Wells (Green Bay).

Don’t forget about the upcoming draft though. Who do you want to see in purple and black next year and what is your draft board looking like right now? Looking to trade up for that certain someone you just have to pick? Don’t forget it comes at a cost. How many draft picks are you willing to give up? Same goes for trades. Which current Ravens do you ship off to another team to require picks and/or specific players from their roster?

So, there you are Mister or Misses GM, time to get to work. Remember the rules, nothing too crazy and let’s try to stay as realistic as possible, but most of all, have some fun!

Happy Friday everyone!