It's time to click open our weekly Baltimore Ravens mailbag. ...
@jamisonhensley Who is more likely to be extended: Ngata or Yanda?
— Preston Donakowski (@Preston_D) February 11, 2015
@jamisonhensley: If the Ravens had their way, they would get extensions completed with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and guard Marshal Yanda. The more likely one? That would be Ngata. It's based more on the situation. Ngata's salary-cap number is $16 million, the largest on the team. It's clear that he won't play under that contract. The Ravens need to get an extension with Ngata to lower that cap number or they'll be forced to release him. There's more of an urgency with Ngata. That said, I believe an extension with Yanda is a no-brainer. He can make more money this year, and the Ravens keep one of the NFL's best linemen for another three to four years. But Yanda's cap number is $8.45 million, so an extension is not a necessity. It would be a great bonus, though.
@jamisonhensley J. Strong, Gordon, DGB, and Peters are available at 26.. Who would you take? Didn't resign Torrey or Forsett to make it fair
— Kyle Morris (@K_MO_13) February 11, 2015
@jamisonhensley: To start, this would be a dream situation for the Ravens at No. 26. They could choose between a top cornerback (Washington's Marcus Peters), two playmaking receivers (Missouri's Dorial Green-Beckham and Arizona State's Jaelen Strong) and the No. 1 running back (Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon). I would take Peters because he's the best all-around cornerback and fills a major need. This can only happen if the Ravens are comfortable with his behavioral issues. He got kicked off the team at Washington and coachability is a major concern. But if there wasn't a red flag for character, Peters wouldn't be available at No. 26. His raw talent is too good to pass up.
— Stephen Nolan (@Aka_Young_Gun) February 11, 2015
@jamisonhensley: It would certainly follow the trend. The Ravens have taken a defensive player with their top pick for the past five drafts. If the Ravens select a defensive player in the first round, it will either be a cornerback or a pass rusher. The defensive line is deep, and the Ravens have used first-round picks recently on safety and inside linebacker. It would't be a surprise if the Ravens jumped on a cornerback or pass rusher who slipped to No. 26. Of course, it all depends on the first 25 picks. So it's tough to predict.
@jamisonhensley If the Ravens acquire the cap space, do you see the Ravens making a play at Rahim Moore to pair with Will Hill?
— Jake Miller (@xRAABOOSHAx) February 11, 2015
@jamisonhensley: Not really. The Ravens typically don't pursue unrestricted free agents because they count against their compensatory picks for the next year's draft. If they sign a veteran, it's usually someone who gets cut for salary-cap reasons. Raiders safety Tyvon Branch could be a casualty this offseason. As far as Rahim Moore, he's an above-average safety who will likely be overpaid because a team is desperate to fill a need. The Ravens don't have a history of splurging in free agency and they can't afford another misstep at that position. Even though Moore likely won't end up with the Ravens, they will always have the Mile High Miracle to remember.
@jamisonhensley - biggest need in your opinion & why between DB, WR, & OT? Is Pitta on track to come back and return to form?
— Zane Fulp (@HeyYOitsZ) February 11, 2015
@jamisonhensley: Both cornerback and wide receiver are major needs for the Ravens. This could change depending on what the Ravens do with wide receiver Torrey Smith in free agency and how they address cornerback Lardarius Webb's bloated $8 million base salary. Offensive tackle isn't a need. The Ravens return their top three tackles from last season in Eugene Monroe, James Hurst and Rick Wagner. Even though Wagner had foot surgery at the end of the season, he is expected to be ready for the start of the season. In regard to tight end Dennis Pitta, coach John Harbaugh didn't provide any update on his progress last month. I still believe his status is up in the air.
@jamisonhensley What are the chances of bringing in a veteran backup QB, with Tyrod Taylor hitting the market and Wenning unproven?
— Matt Hurd (@hurd_matt) February 11, 2015
@jamisonhensley: Very good. I don't expect the Ravens to re-sign Taylor, and I don't expect the Ravens to hand the backup job to Keith Wenning, a sixth-round pick from a year ago who spent last season on the practice squad. The Ravens' best option is Josh McCown. He was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week, and he might want to reunite with Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, who was McCown's coach in Chicago. Even if the Ravens don't bring in McCown, they will need someone to compete with Wenning. Lower-level quarterbacks who are available on the cheap are Jimmy Clausen (Trestman's backup in Chicago last season), Colt McCoy and Matt Flynn. The Ravens will also see which backup quarterbacks are released over the next couple of weeks.
@jamisonhensley the player on injured reserve not named Smith or Pitta that will have the biggest impact on the Ravens 2015 season will be?
— Todd (@bmoretodd) February 11, 2015
@jamisonhensley: The easy pick is Wagner, who was a starter for 15 games at right tackle before suffering a season-ending foot injury. If you're looking beyond Wagner, the two injured-reserve players to watch in 2015 are running back Lorenzo Taliaferro and defensive end Brent Urban. Taliaferro should get increased playing time because Justin Forsett isn't a lock to be re-signed in free agency and Bernard Pierce might not be on the team by the start of the regular season. A fourth-round pick from a year ago, Taliaferro can have an important role in short yardage and in the red zone. Another player from last year's rookie class who ended up on IR is Urban. A fourth-round pick like Taliaferro, Urban could become a starter in 2015. If the Ravens cut Chris Canty to free cap space, Urban would compete with Kapron Lewis-Moore, Lawrence Guy (if he's re-signed) and DeAngelo Tyson for that defensive end spot.