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Who stays and who goes? Looking at Ravens hitting free agency market

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USA Today Sports

Who stays and who goes? Looking at Ravens hitting free agency market

The start of the new league year is upon us.

The tampering period has already begun and on March, 14th at 4:00 p.m. ET, all 2017 players contracts expire and teams can officially sign and seek free agents.

Free agency can be a frenzy, and in the past, the Ravens have casually dipped their toes in the pool.

2018 should be no exception considering the team is in desperate need of weapons.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, owner Steve Bisciotti said, "I think that there is a really good chance that we won’t be drafting a defensive tackle in the first round," Bisciotti said. "We will be exploring all options in free agency and in the draft for targets for Joe [Flacco]."

On the flip side, what about current Ravens who are set to hit the open market this week? 

The front office will have to decided on the future of nine of their current players.

Many are destined to be let go while others will take more contemplation.

They begun the process last week when they re-signed DE Brent Urban to a one-year deal and on Monday, re-signing OT James Hurst to a four-year, $17.5 million contract.

They have already released right tackle Austin Howard, RB Danny Woodhead and S Lardarius Webb.

Who else stays and who goes? 

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Mike Wallace: 

Over two seasons with the Ravens, Wallace had 124 receptions, 209 targets, 1,765 yards and eight touchdowns, making him their No. 1 receiver.

Wallace signed a $11.5 million contract back in 2016, but this offseason money isn't the priority.

The wide receiver is entering his 10th season and has yet to win a Super Bowl. Where he lands in 2018 will be very dependent on where he feels like he can win a championship.

I have made a lot of money, Wallace said. You are not going to play for pennies, but at the same time, that [money] is not the most important thing to me. I want to win. That is going to be my key, just putting myself in the best situation that I can to win a Super Bowl. Hopefully it is here, but like I said, football is business. You never know how things are going to go.

Wallace is clearly the teams most reliable receiver. If they are looking to keep one of their own, he's their best option. 

Benjamin Watson: 

After signing a two-year deal worth $7 million, Watson missed the 2016 season with injury. But in 2017, the 37-year old had 61 receptions for 522 yards and four touchdowns. 

The TE has mentioned that he is mulling retirement and the Ravens will most likely want to make room for a free agent TE like Jimmy Graham. 

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Ryan Jensen: 

The center should be at the top of the re-sign list, but keeping him could be costly.

Jensen took over center when John Urschel abruptly retired Day 1 of training camp, and since then, he's had quite an effect.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jensen had the highest single game run-blocking grade among centers in 2017 at 97 percent in Week 5 and was the 13th-best center in the league.

The 26-year old signed a 1-year, $1.8 million contract last year and with the combination of talent and age, Jensen could get a sizable contract elsewhere.

“It’s been an awesome five years and I hope to be back here, but I’m going to see where life takes me," Jensen said. "I’m going to go with the ebbs and flows of life.”

The one major roadblock for the Ravens is their cap flexibility in 2018, which they've been creating room for by releasing free agents right tackle Austin Howard, RB Danny Woodhead and safety Lardarius Webb.

Terrance West:

The Towson grad only played five games in 2017 after suffering a calf injury brining his season to a halt. In stepped Alex Collins who became the teams leading rusher. 

West earned $1.79 million in 2017, but the Ravens have a lot of depth at running back in Alex Collins, Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon, who is expected to return after suffering a torn meniscus. An interesting running back competition could be brewing. 

Michael Campanaro: 

It's been reported that the Ravens are interested in re-signing the WR and punt returner. 

Campanaro finished 2017 with 19 receptions, 27 targets, 173 yards and one touchdown. Injuries have been an issue for Campanaro over the years, but he led the AFC in punt returns last year.

The Silver Spring native signed a one-year, $1.2 million deal in 2017 and a similar deal could be expected.

Crockett Gillmore:

It has also been reported that the Ravens have spoken to Gillmore about returning.

Gillmore's experience comes at tight end, but it seems as if he will be transitioning to offensive line. The 26-year old missed the entire 2017 season after undergoing MCL surgery and only played seven games in 2016. Injury, too, has tampered with his potential. 

Gillmore signed a four-year contract worth $2 million and some change back in 2014. A short-term deal could also be expected for Gillmore considering the team doesn't know how he'll fare on the O-line.

Other minor free agents:

Steven Johnson: The LB made appearances in 11 games with only five tackles. He's currently on a one-year, $775,000 deal.

Brandon Boykin: The Ravens signed the CB in June of 2017 and he spent the entire season on IR. Baltimore was his fifth team in two-years. Boykin was on a one-year, $775,000 deal. 

Luke Bowanko: The center was traded to the Ravens from the Jacksonville Jaguars for an undisclosed draft pick back in September of 2017.  Bowanko played in 16 games for the Ravens, only starting in one. If Ryan Jensen goes elsewhere, Bowanko will become very valuable. He can also shift to right guard or left guard.

RELATED: RAVENS SIGN URBAN TO ONE-YEAR DEAL TO AVOID FREE AGENCY

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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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2018 NFL Mock Draft Ravens Roundup 6.0: The final countdown

2018 NFL Mock Draft Ravens Roundup 6.0: The final countdown

After months and months of talk and a lot of predictions, the 2018 NFL Draft is finally here.

On Thursday, Ozzie Newsome and Co. will enter the draft room prepared for battle. A lot of questions await them and most of them can not be answered until the ten minutes leading up to their pick. 

Even with the additions of Michael CrabtreeJohn Brown and Willie Snead, will the Ravens continue to add to their wide receiver corps? 

Will they trade down and scoop up a tight end or will they address the offensive line and snag Mike McGlinchey? 

All of our questions will be answered in no time, but for now, sit back and enjoy the wild ride that is the first-round of the NFL Draft. 

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig (Link) Charley Casserly (Link

— Mike McGlinchey (OL)

With the exit of Ryan Jensen, the Ravens are now in need of an offensive lineman. 

At the combine, McGlinchey put up 24 reps on the bench press, had a 28.5 inch vertical and a 105 inch broad jump. 

"The offense lacks playmakers which is why wide receivers Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore work," Standing says. "Right tackle also in play. McGlinchey seems to have moved ahead of the other tackle prospects."

ESPN's Mel Kiper (Link) CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso (Link) Sporting News (Link) Rotoworld (Link

— Calvin Ridley (WR)

Ridley is one of the few wideouts in this draft projected to go in the first-round. While his combine performance didn't help his stock, running a 4.43 40-yard dash, recording a 31-inch vertical, a 110-inch broad jump and a 6.88-second 3-cone drill, many are still predicting he lands with the Ravens or somewhere in the first-round. 

"Ridley underwhelmed at the combine, but his college tape shows a player who’s nearly uncoverable," Kiper says. "I’m going to trust the tape in this case and still make him my top-ranked wideout (Maryland’s D.J. Moore is not far behind). Baltimore could also target an offensive tackle at pick No. 16."

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah (Link)

— Hayden Hurst (TE) 

The Ravens haven't addressed their need at tight end in free agency and the reason could be because they're holding out for the draft. 

QB Joe Flacco has a tendency to favor Ravens tight ends and Hayden Hurst out of South Carolina is being considered by many the top TE in this draft. 

The ex-minor league baseball pitcher, who walked on at South Carolina at 21-years old, is being compared to Dallas Clark. "His fearless play demeanor combined with size, strength and athleticism make him a well-rounded prospect with the versatility to line up all over the field," according to his draft profile

Jeremiah, who once was a scout for the Ravens, predicts they will be looking to draft back for Hurst.

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks (Link) 

— Lamar Jackson (QB) 

It was reported last week that Jackson would be making a visit to the Ravens' facility during the final week of pre-draft visits, and with Joe Flacco nearing the end of his contract, now could be the time to find his successor. Jackson provides support on the ground and in the air, but scouts are concerned about his accuarcy. 

"With Joe Flacco viewed as a potential salary cap casualty in 2019, the Ravens can secure their future QB by grabbing Jackson if he is available at No. 16," Brooks says. "Remember, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and assistant head coach Greg Roman have experience nurturing athletic quarterbacks into dynamic playmakers (see Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Colin Kaepernick), so the Ravens could be the perfect fit for the 2016 Heisman winner."

Bleacher Report (Link

— Mike Gesicki (TE) 

Gesicki is another tight end option for the Ravens. Standing tall at 6' 5", Gesicki ran a 4.54 40-yard dash and recorded a 41.5 vertical jump at the combine. He also ended his time at Penn State as their tight end leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. 

His draft profile describes him as a "pass-catcher who can get open and has the ball skills to win against linebackers and safeties." Scouts are also comparing him to the likes of Jimmy Graham. 

Land of 10 (Link

— Christian Kirk (WR)

Kirk provides another wide receiver option if Ridley is gone at 16, even though his draft profile has him projected in Rounds 2-3. 

The 5-10, 201-pound junior finished with 71 receptions, 919 yards and 10 touchdowns at Texas A&M.

At the combine, Kirk ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, recorded a 35.5 vertical jump and a 7.09 second 3-cone drill. 

His bottom line states, "Kirk is a well-built, mentally tough slot target whose game is built around pace more than explosiveness. His lack of speed and length make him less likely to impact games down the field, but his footwork, route tempo and hands should give him an opportunity to find catches underneath. Kirk's ability to help in the return game is a plus, but the difference between average and good as a receiver could depend on finding the right fit."

CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson (Link)

— D.J. Moore (WR)

As the draft has slowly approached, Maryland's D.J. Moore has risen in the rankings. 

Many pundits are ranking him narrowly behind Alabama's Calvin Ridley as the top WR in the draft. 

The 6'0"  junior ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, a 6.95 3-cone drill and recorded a 39.5 vertical jump. 

"Moore is bigger than former Terrapin wideout Stefon Diggs, but their playing style and athletic ability while at Maryland are similar," states his draft profile.

"Moore doesn't have the height and length teams look for outside and may become a full-time option from the slot. He clearly has the short-area quickness and talent after the catch to handle those duties, but his route-running needs to become more focused and fast to unlock his potential. Teams are high on Moore's potential and believe he has the talent and traits to become a good WR2 in the league."

Moore is being compared to the likes of Pierre Garçon. 

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