Ravens retain restricted players without a fight

OWINGS MILLS -- The deadline for NFL teams to extend contract offers to restricted free agents expired Friday without any offer sheets being placed on the Baltimore Ravens' six players in that category.

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome, who had already indicated a desire and the salary cap space to match any offer sheet, will retain all of those players.

That list includes starting inside linebacker Ed Hartwell, who was assigned the middle tender of $1.368 million by Baltimore. Starting fullback Alan Ricard, starting defensive end Marques Douglas and starting offensive guard Bennie Anderson along with offensive guard Casey Rabach and long snapper Joe Maese had been assigned the low tender of $628,000.

This was a slow year in the NFL for restricted players' movement with the exception of the Pittsburgh Steelers allowing defensive end Rodney Bailey to go to the New England Patriots.
Last year, five restricted free agents changed teams with the Washington Redskins acquiring four restricted players, including receiver Laveranues Coles, guard Randy Thomas and kicker John Hall.

If a restricted player did sign an offer sheet with another franchise before the Friday deadline, his current club would have one week to match that deal. In Hartwell's case, Baltimore would have received a first-round draft pick if another team had signed him and the Ravens opted not to match.

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