I thought big Terrence Cody would be a star defensive tackle in the NFL someday. It hasn't really happened that way yet for Cody—and it looks like it won't be happening with the team that drafted him a few years back—the Ravens.
Cody is just one of many Ravens left over from the 2012 Super Bowl champion team who will probably be released by the Ravens into free agent limbo in 2014. The reasons for the releases will be more about freeing up salary cap space than about dissatisfaction with performance.
Sarah Ellison of the Ravens NFL.com website released a pretty frank outlook on whom the Ravens will let go during the upcoming week when free agency signing period kicks in.
Actually, the article sums up the predictions of local sports radio WNST's Luke Jones… but what makes Sarah's reporting of it special is that it is rare for an official NFL site to actually get involved in predicting personnel movement.
Maybe this is the Ravens' way of softening the blow when the release notices come out on March 11th?
Anyway, here's Luke Jones' prognostication as reported by Sarah Ellison:
The Ravens had 13 unrestricted free agents coming out of the season – wide receiver
No. 13 TE
The bottom line: “There's a good chance that Clark will follow Stokley's path and retire. He turns 35 before the season starts and his 31 catches were his fewest since 2006. … Clark was inactive for the four games [Dennis] Pitta played last season. There's no chance he's returning to the Ravens.”
No. 12 RB
The bottom line: “Why is Scott rated above [Clark] in the Ravens free agent rankings? Because Scott has a chance of playing somewhere next season. The Ravens need depth at running back, but Scott was a band-aid for that position last season. The team has to improve the No. 3 spot, and it could do so in the draft.”
No. 11 S
The bottom line: “The Ravens picked him up on waivers, which meant they paid him his restricted tender of $1.3 million last season. That tells me that the Ravens really wanted Miles to bolster their special teams. Miles isn't a priority in free agency, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up back with the Ravens.”
No. 10 NT
The bottom line: “The Ravens will only bring him back if they feel they need experienced depth on the interior of the defensive line.
No. 9 TE
The bottom line: “Dickson told reporters at the end of the season that he doesn't expect to return to the Ravens, and it's hard to argue with him. The Ravens are expected to keep Pitta and add another tight end in the draft. Dickson needs a fresh start.”
No. 8 CB
The bottom line: “The Ravens consider Graham one of their priorities in free agency, although he won't rank as high as [Pitta]. By keeping Graham, the Ravens would retain their top three cornerbacks and maintain cohesion in the secondary. Graham is also an excellent special-teams player. But there's no guarantee that he's coming back. Coach John Harbaugh said Graham could follow the likes of linebacker Dannell Ellerbe as someone who played so well for the Ravens that he'll draw interest elsewhere.”
No. 7 S
The bottom line: “A return is unlikely for Ihedgibo, especially after General Manager Ozzie Newsome said the team needs to add a more athletic safety. The Ravens want to move [Matt] Elam to Ihedigbo's strong safety spot, which is the first-round pick's natural position. The team would be interested in bringing back Ihedigbo as a special teams player, but he'll want to find a place where he has an opportunity to play on defense.”
No. 6 OT
The bottom line: “Coach John Harbaugh didn't rule out bringing back both Oher and
No. 5 LB
The bottom line: “The Ravens are trying to get Smith signed before free agency begins March 11. He is a priority after the team cut Jameel McClain. The other inside linebackers on the roster with experience are
No. 4 DT
The bottom line: “Jones is generally ranked among the top 25 free agents available. He's going to get paid but likely not by the Ravens. The Dolphins and Jets have been linked as potential interested teams. The Ravens showed last year they weren't going to overpay to keep players they developed when they let Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbie sign elsewhere."
(Goodbye, Terrence Cody !!! They will miss him at Lardarius Webb's charity softball tournament this summer…or will the big guy be there again? )
No. 3 WR
The bottom line: “The Ravens aren't expected to give him the money he made in 2014 ($4 million) because they see him as a returner. Top returners typically average between $1 million and $2 million. There's a chance that another team will overpay Jones because he's a difference maker. He's a luxury item for a team that has enough cap room to splurge.”
No. 2 OT Eugene Monroe: LEAVES
The bottom line: “With [Pitta] retained, the Ravens' priority on the offensive side of the ball is to get Monroe re-signed before free agency begins Tuesday. This could be difficult to accomplish, even though Monroe enjoyed his time with the Ravens and his wife's family lives in the Baltimore area. Teams like the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals are expected to aggressively pursue offensive tackles in free agency. The Ravens might have to outbid multiple teams to keep him.”
No. 1 TE
Ravens top-ranked unrestricted free agent has already been re-signed. Pitta got a 5-year deal for a reported $30 million, with about $12 million guaranteed. More details of that contract will emerge and we will update here…