Ravens lock up part of defensive core

Posted April 05, 2012 @ 8:31 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

The Ravens began the offseason with several core players who were likely candidates for contract extensions. Although no new deal has yet been reached for QB Joe Flacco or RB Ray Rice, the Ravens did strike a six-year agreement with CB Lardarius Webb, who was a restricted free agent. The three-year pro from Nicholls State was No 22 on PFW’s rankings of the top 100 free agents of 2012.

We’re told Webb, 26, will receive $10 million up front and more than $20 million in guaranteed money during the life of the contract. Webb is slated to make $18 million in the first two years of the deal and $25.5 million over the first three years, the way we hear it.

Talented, proven starting cornerbacks like Webb, who intercepted a career-best five passes in 2011, are highly valued. Three other cornerbacks ranked among PFW’s top 25 free agents — Brandon Carr (Dallas), Cortland Finnegan (St. Louis) and Carlos Rogers (San Francisco) — received lucrative, new contracts this offseason. Also, the Falcons’ Brett Grimes received the franchise tag.

At the Ravens’ pre-draft press conference Wednesday, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome described negotiations between Rice, Flacco and restricted free-agent CB Cary Williams as “ongoing.”