A To-Do List

<p><i>Here are ten things the Ravens should look to accomplish for the remainder of the off-season:</i> <p>1. <b>Re-sign Peter Boulware:</b> obviously, the Ravens need to reach a contract extension with either Boulware or Lewis to free up cap space. That said, it's more important to take care of Boulware first. He becomes an unrestricted free agent next year, while Lewis still has two years left on his contract.

Also, it will be easier for the Ravens to reach an agreement with Boulware, considering he's asking for less money.


2.      Re-sign Ray Lewis: yeah, this is a pretty obvious one. The Ravens need to reach an extension with Lewis before training camp starts on July 25th for two reasons. One, they need to avoid any distractions once camp starts. This is just not the year for having any possible holdouts. Two, the Ravens need some cap space, if you didn't already know.


3.      Sign Sam Adams: there should be an asterisk next to this number. Basically, if Adams hasn't signed with another team by the time they free up any cap space, the Ravens should re-sign him to the same contract they offered him in March. Adams has already made it clear that he would like to re-sign with the Ravens if they give him a multi-year contract with a $5 million bonus. Adams would fill a big need at defensive tackle, whether the Ravens use him in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense.


4.      Sign Sam Gash: next to defensive tackle, fullback is a pretty viable need at this point. The Ravens just have one fullback on their roster, and that's Alan Ricard. Although Ricard has the talent to do well, Gash's presence is needed. Not only is he the top blocking fullback in the game, but he's also a good special teams player. He's also a guy that Jamal Lewis is comfortable working with.


5.      Sign Ben Coleman: signing an offensive lineman is a must. Just check the Ravens' depth chart behind their starters. Coleman is a versatile player that can play right tackle in a pinch, and can also play either guard position. Oh, and if you absolutely need him to play left tackle, he can do that too.


6.      Sign a strong safety: with Eric Brown and Victor Green out there, the Ravens should sign one of these guys to a multi-year contract. Brown would be a better option because he's younger, and can play free safety if needed. He's also a big hitter who could compliment Ed Reed well.


7.      Trade for Shawn Bryson: this isn't a big need, but the Ravens should think about acquiring him. The Buffalo Bills have an overstocked backfield at this point, so they'll probably look to unload Bryson either through a trade, or by releasing him.  Bryson has good speed and power; attributes needed to play in the Ravens' power rushing offense. Bryson is also a reliable blocker who can play fullback if needed. The potential is there for Bryson to perform well at either position, given a chance. A sixth or seventh round pick should be enough to pry him away in a trade.


8.      Scour the waiver list part 1: the Ravens need a backup defensive end pretty badly, but there are no options in free agency. The best option is to wait until September 1, the last day for teams to finalize their rosters. Some teams usually release young players with potential— draft picks, undrafted players, and second-year players—because they have too much depth at certain positions. What the team needs is a hybrid end, who can also play tackle if needed.


9.      Scour the waiver list part 2: along with trying to claim/sign a defensive end, the Ravens should look to acquire a young offensive tackle with potential. Again, there aren't many options in free agency besides Ben Coleman or Matt Cambell, so signing a young backup tackle isn't a bad idea at all. You'd rather have a younger player with potential, than an older player that's past his prime.


10.             Re-sign Chris McAlister: like Boulware, McAlister will become a free agent next year.  McAlister is growing into one of the better cornerbacks in the league, and he should be retained at all costs. The Ravens shouldn't take a chance by waiting until after the season ends, because McAlister may look to test the free agent waters. The Ravens already lost one top-notch corner in Duane Starks; they can't afford to lose another in McAlister.







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