The Baltimore Ravens are currently putting forth their best efforts to retain their three key free agent players, but according to the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zriebec, fans shouldn’t be too optimistic about their chances to keep any of them in the building.
Things aren't looking good for the Ravens to keep any of their big three free agents - Juszczyk, Wagner and Williams - off the market.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 5, 2017
Brandon Williams, Ricky Wagner, and Kyle Juszczyk are those three players, and while the team has openly expressed their interests in bringing all of them back, this report is a serious blow to an organization that is known for typically being able to keep their homegrown players in the building. Unfortunately, the current reality of NFL free agency is one where teams are flush with salary cap space and desperate to spend it on any players who exist on the fringes of the top 10 or 15 at their position.
Williams and Juszcyzk certainly are within the top five of the nose tackle and fullback positions respectively, while Wagner is probably at least a top ten right tackle in his own right. Naturally, this means that some of those aforementioned teams will be lining up highly competitive bids that Zriebec doesn't seem to think the Ravens will be able to match.
Ravens expected to talk to Juszczyk's agent tomorrow and could do same with Williams. But obviously they're running out of time.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 5, 2017
Zriebec doesn't even mention Wagner in this tweet, going on to cite him as a player that is all but gone at this point:
Things can change in one phone call, but it appears that the ship has sailed on Rick Wagner, who will get top right tackle money.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 5, 2017
This is very tough news, as the three players represent somewhat of a redemption for Ozzie Newsome when it comes to the much maligned 2013 NFL draft that produced all three of them in some of the later rounds.
While it would be great for Baltimore to be able to keep these three in the fold, it seems that fans should probably start preparing themselves for life without them beginning at the start of the 2017 league year on Thursday.