Before the free agency frenzy began, the Baltimore Ravens made sure to take care of their restricted free agents by placing free agent tenders on players such as Marqueston Huff, James Hurst, Terrance West, Jumal Rolle and Michael Campanaro. Now, with the Ravens still very well active in the free agent market in an effort to make the team better for the 2017 season, a few of these tenders have now been taken off the table, per the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
Per transaction wire, Ravens withdraw original round restricted free agent tenders to DBs Marqueston Huff and Jumal Rolle.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 13, 2017
These moves will create $3 million in cap space for the Ravens who are running up against the salary cap after dealing out big money in free agency.
Obviously, these moves were received with speculation that the team is on the verge of landing cornerback Morris Claiborne, a player that Baltimore has been reported to be interested in by multiple outlets. ESPN's Jamison Hensley shot down those speculations quickly after the withdrawing's were announced, saying a deal is not imminent, but that the Ravens and Claiborne are still talking.
Nothing imminent with Ravens and CB Morris Claiborne. Sides are still talking. Withdrawing RFA tenders to... https://t.co/wniVHxjuzg— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) March 13, 2017
This is a wise approach to Claiborne. Yes, the Ravens need cornerback help, but Claiborne didn't start to show his potential until the first seven games of the 2016 season for the Dallas Cowboys before tearing his groin. Claiborne didn't return until the teams Divisional Playoff game with the Green Bay Packers where he would leave with injured ribs.
Whether the Ravens finish the deal with Claiborne, or focus on another free agent, taking the tenders off the table from Huff and Rolle to create more cap space is yet another sign that general manager Ozzie Newsome isn't playing around. When Ozzie said he wasn't done in free agency, he meant it.