Random Notes 5/12/02

After Marcus Spears burned the Ravens by rejecting a four-year offer made by the team last week, the Ravens continued their search for a new right tackle without great promise. Despite the team's interest in signing Roman Oben to a deal worth the veteran minimum, sources close to the Ravens have stated that Oben now wants to be paid like a starter. The chances that he gets starter's money are slim to none.

However, Oben is not likely to get a better offer from any other team either. The Rams and Bucs have also expressed interest in signing Oben to be their starting right tackle. If Oben and the Ravens cannot reach an agreement by next week, the Ravens will likely try to re-sign Sammy Williams, and look at the group of right tackles available after June 1st…

One thing to keep an eye on is the Ravens' pursuit of a veteran wide receiver after June 1st. One person that the Ravens could be interested in talking to is Antonio Freeman. Due to his ties to Baltimore, Freeman may just consider coming back home again. Freeman also figures to get paid the less than Derrick Alexander and Keenan McCardell, because there are still concerns about his abilities deteriorating over the years. Also, there is a belief that Brett Favre usually makes his receivers look better than they actually are. Freeman will certainly have to prove his worth.

Still, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Texas, and possibly Chicago will heavily pursue him. If the Ravens can open up $1 million in cap space, they could have the money, and the hometown appeal to lure him to Baltimore. If they can't sign a player of Freeman's caliber, the Ravens will likely try to sign a wide receiver worth the veteran minimum…

Although the Ravens have gone through the worst cap purge in recent memory, things should get much better for the team next year. Even if they reach blockbuster extensions with Ray Lewis, Peter Boluware, Chris McAlister, Edwin Mulitalo, and Sam Adams, the Ravens will still be at least $15 million under next year's projected cap total of $74 million.

Of course, the draft could eat up anywhere from $2-$5 million of the amount, plus the Ravens will need to use $2.5 million dollars to tender Chris Redman and Adalius Thomas. However, it's safe to say that the Ravens will have the ability to be major players during next year's free-agency period. That said, the team should be a lot more conservative this time around. Instead of making one or two big splash signings, they should use the money to fill various holes throughout the team, and to build some depth.


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