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Ravens news and notes on on Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson makes a play against Ravens cornerback Rashaan Melvin in December. Could the veteran star receiver be a fit in Baltimore? (Bob Levey, Getty Images)

By Jeff Zrebiec The Baltimore Sun contact the reporter

Pro Football Baltimore Ravens Free Agency Torrey Smith Andre Johnson New England Patriots For the Ravens, adding Andre Johnson would most likely come at expense of Torrey Smith. Is it worth it? It won happen, but potential free agent safety Devin McCourty could solve a lot of the Ravens problems.

From Derrick Mason to Anquan Boldin to Steve Smith, the wholesale cheap jerseys Ravens have a history of acquiring big name wide receivers late in their careers and benefiting from them having productive seasons. That why not long after the Houston Chronicle report last night that long time star wide out wholesale jerseys from china Andre Johnson will either be traded or released, the speculation started immediately that Baltimore could be his next destination.

NFL sets salary cap limit at $143.28 million, Ravens have $4.604 million available Aaron Wilson

The NFL has established a salary cap limit of $143.28 million, an increase of $10 million from a year ago.

The NFL has established a salary cap limit of $143.28 million, an increase of $10 million from a year ago. ( Aaron Wilson )

It makes sense for several reasons. The Ravens really need a wide receiver, especially if Torrey Smith leaves in free agency, which now seems likely unless he willing to accept a hometown discount. Tough, sure handed, hungry and clutch, Johnson is exactly the type of player that the Ravens love. And the Texans pipeline has worked well in the past with Vonta Leach, Bernard Pollard, Jacoby Jones and Owen Daniels all coming from Houston and playing key roles for the Ravens.

Despite the Texans’ shaky quarterback play last season, Johnson still caught 85 balls for 936 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games. But this is hardly a slam dunk for the Ravens.

Ravens InsiderRay Rice wrongful termination grievance against Ravens was settled for $1.588 millionSee all related8 Johnson will turn 34 in July. If the Ravens signed him and paired him with Steve Smith (while letting Torrey Smith depart), their top two receivers would be 36 and 34 by the time the 2015 season begins. With Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones gone, the Ravens would also lack a speedy deep threat on the outside.

General manager Ozzie Newsome mantra is player, right price. Perhaps, the Ravens could get Johnson for relatively cheap if he isn traded and he cheap jerseys available as a free agent. The guy is a seven time Pro Bowl selection and is widely recognized as a great teammate and a leader on and off the field. He make any team better.

But at some point, the Ravens also are going to have to commit to getting younger and faster on the outside.

There is talk that Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Percy Harvin and perhaps even Boldin could be either traded or released as teams look to create some cap room and get younger.

Throw in a pretty solid free agent wide receiver class and you can see why some expect it to be a buyer market at that position when free agency opens next Tuesday. The Ravens clearly don have the salary cap space while plenty of other teams do. However, if you asked me to identify the one pending free agent that would best fit the Ravens, I say it New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty, with no hesitation.

The Patriots opted to put the franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski and not McCourty, who will hit the open market next week without a long term deal in place with New England.

The interest in McCourty, 27, is expected to be extremely high if he leaves. A smart, rangy and play making safety who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, McCourty is exactly the type of player that the Ravens need to shore up their secondary. The last time they used it was on former running back Ray Rice in 2012.

That trend, however, could change next year, when the Ravens’ class of unrestricted free agents may include starting guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele, cornerback Jimmy Smith, punter Sam Koch and kicker Justin Tucker.

It will probably be much too costly to franchise a guard the tag for offensive linemen this year cost nearly $13 million but it might be a good way to keep Tucker for at least one more year. Both sides would like to work out a contract extension. However, if that doesn happen, the Ravens could become the latest team in the league to franchise a kicker.

Thirteen kickers have been franchised over the past nine years. The tag for kickers this season, which the Patriots are prepared to pay on wholesale nfl jerseys Gostkowski, costs just over $4 million. That significant, but Tucker has established himself as one of the best in the NFL at his position.Articles Connexes:

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