Ravens now turn to others after locking up Monroe

March 11, 2014 | Luke Jones

Having accomplished their primary goals of locking up left tackle Eugene Monroe and tight end Dennis Pitta, the Ravens may now turn their attention toward other needs as the first day of free agency concluded on Tuesday.

Signing Monroe to a five-year, $37.5 million contract to clear up their left tackle picture for the long haul, the Ravens still hope to re-sign inside linebacker Daryl Smith despite the sides reportedly not being close to an agreement at the start of free agency. However, the recent signings of two other veteran linebackers have established a reasonable idea of Smith’s price tag.

Indianapolis signed former Browns standout D’Qwell Jackson, 30, to a four-year, $22 million contract last week, and Cleveland responded by inking the 32-year-old Karlos Dansby to a four-year, $24 million deal on Tuesday. The 31-year-old Smith would have good reason to ask for a similar deal after a strong first season with the Ravens in which he excelled in pass coverage and admirably occupied Ray Lewis’ former inside linebacker position.

The Ravens will need to decide if Smith is worthy of a deal approaching $5 million to $6 million per season, but they could make the decision to pass on the veteran’s services in favor of the draft or being able to find a value free agent like last offseason when they were able to sign Smith on a cheap one-year deal at the start of the summer. Baltimore is already penciling in 2013 second-round pick Arthur Brown as the starting weakside inside linebacker while Josh Bynes also brings starting experience to the unit.

Baltimore remains interested in wide receiver Jacoby Jones, but the Pro Bowl return specialist is scheduled to visit the New York Giants, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

Corey Graham is another player the Ravens would like to retain at the right price, but the No. 3 cornerback is exploring the market for the best opportunity to start and will visit the Washington Redskins and other visits could be in place, a source told WNST.net.

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