OWINGS MILLS — In recent years, the Baltimore Ravens have mostly stayed away from pursuing high profile unrestricted free agents.
The Ravens did sign three players last offseason that began the season as starters, but each of those three — outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, defensive lineman Chris Canty and safety Michael Huff — were released by their previous team.
Those are the types of players the Ravens have targeted. By doing so, the Ravens have avoided putting themselves at risk of losing out on acquiring compensatory picks in the following year’s NFL draft.
But for as much as the organization values those compensatory picks, Baltimore is planning on being more active in free agency this offseason after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
General manager Ozzie Newsome said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February that the Ravens will “use every avenue” to make their team better, and coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that Baltimore is planning to be aggressive in its pursuit of players that can help the Ravens re-establish themselves as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
“We’ve got some options, and we’ve got a little bit of [salary cap] room,” Harbaugh said. “You want to be smart, and you want to make the most of your resources and put the best team we can together. … [But] because we have more salary cap space than we’ve had in a year since , for sure, we have a chance to do some things.”
As it stands, the Ravens are reportedly $25 million under the salary cap.
They still have several impending unrestricted free agents they would like to retain like left tackle Eugene Monroe, inside linebacker Daryl Smith and cornerback Corey Graham, but they figure to have plenty of money to spend even if they manage to work out deals with any or all of those players.