Ravens have options beyond Kemoeatu

OWINGS MILLS -- If retaining nose guard Maake Kemoeatu ultimately becomes too rich for the Baltimore Ravens' blood, they're far from limited as far as other hefty veteran options.

If the Ravens are outbid by the Cleveland Browns or another salary-cap rich competitor for the 6-foot-5, 350-pound Kemoeatu, there's a trio of viable free agents to consider: Sam Adams, Ted Washington and Grady Jackson.

All of them are extremely big, older interior linemen who are likely to be at least somewhat expensive and are represented by the same agent, Angelo Wright. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is concentrating on Kemoeatu and has yet to contact Wright.

Adams is a 6-4, 335-pound former Ravens starter who registered 93 tackles, 13 sacks and two interceptions during his last three seasons with the Buffalo Bills. The three-time Pro Bowl selection visited the Miami Dolphins' complex Tuesday.

Adams remains in contact with Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, his position coach on Baltimore's record-setting Super Bowl defense. Adams was cut by Buffalo to save $3.5 million in cap room.
Washington is a 6-5, 365-pound behemoth who turns 37 next month and has played 14 seasons. He was a recent salary-cap casualty of the Oakland Raiders.

Jackson, 33, is a 6-2, 345-pounder entering his 10th season. He has 32 ½ career sacks and had his moments penetrating the backfield for the Green Bay Packers.

"We'll have to see how this game plays itself out with Baltimore and a few other teams," Wright said. "The Ravens have the cap room, but it depends on what they do with Kemoeatu before we'll know if they're going to come after Sam, Ted or Grady."

Wright reiterated that Cleveland general manager Phil Savage is the executive most inclined to pay a lot for a nose guard. Savage has $21 million in salary-cap room, an aggressive spending style and a glaring hole in the middle of the Browns' 3-4 defense.

If Baltimore really wants to save a lot of money on its nose guard budget, it could rely on a potential inexperienced, inexpensive tandem of Dwan Edwards and Aubrayo Franklin. Edwards is slated for a $385,000 salary next season and Franklin will make the low restricted tender of $712,000.

It may cost as much as $4 million to $5 million per year in the early portion of a contract to land Kemoeatu, who turned 27 in January.

"Everybody's kind of in limbo," said Ken Vierra, Kemoeatu's agent. "It will be the Ravens' decision whether the numbers it will take them to sign Maake are worth it to them.

"It comes down to a cost-value analysis, and I don't know if these older guys will be any cheaper to sign than Maake. I do know he's going to play a lot longer than them."

NOTES: The Ravens remain linebacker Bart Scott's top choice, but his suitors are expected to include the Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Packers and New York Giants. "Ozzie and I have spoken and they definitely want Bart, but until the dust clears with the salary cap, how do you do a deal?" said Harold Lewis, Scott's agent. … Former Minnesota Vikings starter Michael Bennett is another runner the Ravens may consider if they don't sign Chester Taylor. … The Ravens promoted Jeff Goering to chief financial officer from senior director of finance.

 

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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