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.
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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.