Corey Graham, the 28-year old cornerback who stepped up to fill the shoes of Cary Williams in 2013 after Williams left Baltimore for Philadelphia, had a very good year.
At 6-0 and 196, Graham was reliable and durable. He was great in coverage. He had 65 tackles, 3 INT's and 1 forced fumble as well. And at $2 million salary in 2013, he was a bargain.
His price tag just went up, however. Corey Graham is an unrestricted free agent.
Today the Ravens released their official list of free agents, and Graham's situation jumped out at me. He's going to get offers from other teams. I can't see the Ravens not wanting to hold on to him, since Graham brings stability to their defensive backfield.
The Ravens have several free agents who could get big deals on the open market, including 10 players with starting experience.
Here is a closer look at all of the Ravens’ free agents this offseason:
Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA)
Players that have the ability to sign with any team in the NFL once the new league year begins on March 11. The Ravens have the ability to negotiate with their unrestricted free agents, or use the franchise tag to keep one of them, but other teams do not have to provide any compensation for signing the UFAs like they do for restricted UFAs (see below).
The Ravens UFAs (14) are:
Tight end Dallas Clark
Nose tackle Terrence Cody
Tight end Ed Dickson
Cornerback Corey Graham
Safety James Ihedigbo
Defensive tackle Arthur Jones
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones
Safety Jeromy Miles
Left tackle Eugene Monroe
Right tackle Michael Oher
Tight end Dennis Pitta
Running back Bernard Scott
Middle linebacker Daryl Smith
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley (plans to retire)
Restricted Free Agents (RFAs)
Players with three accrued NFL seasons whose contracts have expired, but received a qualifying offer from their current club that restricts their ability to sign with a new team. The Ravens have the first rights to sign their RFAs by designating them with a salary tender corresponding to a specified draft pick. A RFA could sign with another team if that new team signs the player to an offer sheet, and the Ravens choose not to match the offer. In that situation, the Ravens would then receive draft pick compensation from the new club for the RFA.
The Ravens RFAs (two) are:
Wide receiver Tandon Doss
Linebacker Albert McClellan
Exclusive Rights Free Agent
Players with two accrued NFL seasons whose contracts have expired, but do not have the ability to sign with another team unless their current club chooses not to re-sign them.
The Ravens exclusive rights free agents (six) are:
Safety Omar Brown
Outside linebacker D.J. Bryant
Inside linebacker Josh Bynes
Outside linebacker Adrian Hamilton
Safety Anthony Levine
Safety Brynden Trawick
I'm just starting to go down that list of unrestricted free agents and guess who might stay for a matching offer, or who might get the franchise tag, or who is either going to bolt for greener pastures —- or simply not asked to re-sign and released.
I'm intrigued by keeping Graham —but not at any cost—and I think Daryl Smith should be tendered an offer for at least a 2-year deal. I like Arthur Jones and I just might put the franchise tag on him if necessary.
I'm not sure about Terrence Cody— he says he wants to stay here.
I am sure Michael Oher and Eugene Monroe are not the answers at offensive tackle anymore. Maybe I tender Oher a reasonable offer based upon his value as a back-up guy next year.
Pitta is an interesting case. He probably will give the Ravens a home-town discount based on his gratitude for how the team took care of him during his rehab from the hip dislocation.
Jacoby Jones? I'd offer him a reasonable extension through 2015. I would not get involved in a bidding war.
Dallas Clark and James Ihedigbo will probably be allowed to walk away. Same goes for Ed Dickson and Bernard Scott.