What grade would you give the Ravens after the first wave of free agency? According to this week's SportsNation poll, 56 percent of voters believe the Ravens earned a "B." Some of the voters, 28 percent to be exact, thought the Ravens deserved an "A."
Here are selected comments from readers:
Robb P. (Bel Air, Md.): I gave the Ravens a 'B' so far because they signed the absolute must-haves and only suffered one crushing loss (cornerback Corey Graham). Re-signing Jacoby Jones is a nice unexpected bonus, as was acquiring Steve Smith. To get an 'A,' however, the Ravens need to add another offensive lineman. If they can draft a tackle in the first round and get WR Kelvin Benjamin in the second, the Ravens will have an earned an offseason 'A.'
Andrew (Owings Mills, Md.): Anyone who's been a Ravens fan or followed the Ravens franchise knows that general manager Ozzie Newsome and company don't typically make big splashes in free agency. This year was much different, and while they may not have spent a ton of money on other teams free agents, they did lock up their own. Dennis Pitta can be a Pro Bowl tight end, Eugene Monroe is a top 10 left tackle, and Daryl Smith played so well he had us saying Ray who? The Ravens are an organization who likes to promote from within. Why go out and spend $45 million on a left tackle (Branden Albert) when you can get one that's just as good for less money? This is why I gave the Ravens an A grade.
Mark (Baltimore): They've lost more than they've brought in. They are still missing a right tackle and a free safety. They need an upgrade at center. These are major holes for a team needed to get back to the postseason. Grade: C.
Mitchell (Columbus, Ohio): I'm giving the Ravens a 'B,' although the results are incomplete without the draft. I think they can get LeGarrette Blount at a good price to start ramping up the pressure on Ray Rice. Blount brings a nasty running style more reminiscent of Jamal Lewis which I like. I think if we landed a running back in the draft in addition to Blount, I might even be willing to dump Rice and his salary altogether.
Kevin (Los Angeles): I feel our grade so far is a C-plus. I love the addition of Steve Smith. I just don't like the fact that the offensive line is suspent. We also have holes at cornerback and free safety. We definitely need a new center.
Mike (Mooresville, N.C.): Solid B for the Ravens. Pittta, Monroe and D. Smith were vital for our success this year. Steve Smith's chain-moving abilitly should help Joe Flacco in his decision-making. Would be an A grade, but the void at free safety concerns me.
Peter (New Orleans): I think the Ravens get a B so far. The main knock against them being the lack of aggression in getting other teams' free agents. They've done a great job of retaining who they needed to retain and letting walk who they needed to let walk. But as you've pointed out, they can't bring back all the same pieces and expect to improve -- offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak notwithstanding. I think we'll still need to draft a receiver. The holes at free safety, center, and tight end are worrisome. But as usual, In Ozzie We Trust.