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It's finally here: Five questions for Ravens as they start free agency

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It's finally here: Five questions for Ravens as they start free agency

With NFL free agency set to kick off officially on Wednesday, here are five Ravens questions that could be answered this week: 

1) Will the Ravens re-sign Kelechi Osemele, or lose him?

It’s going to be difficult for the Ravens to keep their free agent offensive lineman, with so many teams expected to pursue him. Among the teams rumored to have potential interest in Osemele are the Bears, Browns, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Saints, and Seahawks. Osemele is only 26 years old, capable of playing both left guard and left tackle, making him one of the league’s most coveted free agents. Osemele may be unsigned, but he is not unloved. While the Ravens have made Osemele an “aggressive” offer, expect him to test the market, and once he goes shopping, he might go to the highest bidder.

2) Will the Ravens re-sign outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw?

The Ravens want Upshaw back, and he’s far less likely to price himself out of the Ravens’ range. Upshaw is physical against the run, setting the edge and doing the dirty work that lets others rack up stats. The Ravens will miss him if he goes, but there’s a solid chance Upshaw returns.

3) Will the Ravens re-sign cornerback Shareece Wright?

By season’s end, Wright was the team’s second-best cornerback behind Jimmy Smith, who played with Wright in high school. According to the Baltimore Sun, Wright and the Ravens have made progress toward a new deal. That would be a good development for the Ravens, who must improve their secondary play to return to being a playoff team.

MORE RAVENS: What will it cost for Ravens to keep Kamar Aiken?

4) Will more Ravens veterans be cut?

The Ravens parted with linebacker Daryl Smith and defensive end Chris Canty last week. If they need to create more cap room, at least four players in the secondary are in danger of being let go – cornerback Kyle Arrington, and safeties Kendrick Lewis, Matt Elam, and Will Hill.

Will the Ravens be more aggressive than usual at the start of free agency?

5) It’s not the Ravens’ style to splurge during free agency. But it’s also not their style to finish 5-11 like they did last season.  Restructuring Joe Flacco’s contract gave the Ravens $6 million in additional cap space for 2016.  If general manager Ozzie Newsome feels he can get the right player or two at the right price, perhaps the Ravens will be more aggressive than usual during free agency.

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Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

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Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

If you want to sign Dez Bryant in 2018, it will have to be on a one-year deal.

The 29 year-old wide receiver turned down a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of finding a one-year deal that enables him to test the open market again in 2019, Ed Werder of The Doomsday Podcast first reported.

Bryant - who finished 2017 with 69 receptions, 838 yards and six touchdowns -  is predicating a bounce back season in 2018 with hopes of a big money, long-term contract in 2019.

The offer was similar to that of Michael Crabtree's three-year, $21 million deal, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. The Ravens had to offer Bryant a multi-year deal in order to fit his number under the salary cap.

Since turning down their offer, the Ravens signed former Saints WR Willie Snead to a two-year, $10.4 million contract. 

Bryant will now have to wait until after the 2018 NFL Draft to work out a deal with an organization, if one is still searching for a wide receiver going in to the tail end of his career. 

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Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

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Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Receiver Willie Snead has bid farewell to the Saints, which means New Orleans apparently won't match the contract the Baltimore Ravens offered the restricted free agent.

Eager to add a target for quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens on Friday offered Snead a two-year, $10.4 million contract. The Saints had five days to match the deal. Snead indicated Monday on Twitter that he's headed out of New Orleans.

Snead tweeted: "What I'm going to miss most is the men in the locker room & the coaches."

He added: "Even though I'm sad to go, I'm even more excited for the next chapter in my life. I can't wait to strap it on as a Baltimore Raven."

Hampered by a three-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Snead was limited to eight catches for 92 yards last year.

In 2015, he had 69 receptions for 984 yards. He caught 72 passes for 895 yards in 2016.

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