Ravens' Bannan, Edwards can only wait

Free agents know future is uncertain

January 21, 2010|By Edward Lee and Jamison Hensley

No matter what happens with the collective bargaining agreement, Justin Bannan understands that his future with the Ravens is an uncertain one.

The defensive tackle is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month, and he said he is unsure of his plans.

"This is a part of the business," Bannan said this week. "It sends you a lot of mixed feelings. Everything is uncertain, and sometimes it's tough to live that way. You don't know where you're going to be or if you're going to be here. There's going to be a waiting game that comes with this. I'm going to go sit on a beach for a while and contemplate it."

Although he backed up Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg, Bannan registered 37 tackles in the regular season, as many as starting defensive end Trevor Pryce. Bannan demonstrated his value in 2008 when Gregg was lost for the season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee. In 16 games - 15 starts - Bannan registered a career-high 56 tackles, one sack and his first career interception.

In addition to Bannan, Dwan Edwards is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Coach John Harbaugh spoke Tuesday of the team's intention to retain both Bannan and Edwards, the team's second-round pick in 2004, who registered 50 tackles and one sack this past season.

"We're going to try to keep those guys here," Harbaugh said. "We're going to make a big push to do it. We want to keep that group intact."

Bannan, who will turn 31 in April, could be a casualty if the Ravens can add younger depth at the tackle position. He said he had no preconceptions of the organization's direction.

"Who knows what's going to happen? I don't have a crystal ball," Bannan said. "I love this organization, I love this city and the fans. From the top on down, it's an incredible group of people, and it's been a true pleasure to work with first-class people. You don't have that everywhere. I see it and know it and cherish it."

Jackson to talk with Raiders
Quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson has been granted permission to talk to the Oakland Raiders for an unspecified position, according to ESPN. It's uncertain when the Raiders will interview Jackson, who has been the quarterbacks coach for Joe Flacco'stwo seasons in the NFL and interviewed last year for the offensive coordinator position with the San Francisco 49ers.

This comes as a surprise because Harbaugh had said Tuesday in regard to coaching changes, "We don't have anything brewing right now."

"I think that guys are going to have opportunities to do some things - to move up and improve their position professionally and have some more responsibility," Harbaugh said. "And if that happens, we'll be really happy for them."

So far, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison are not considered candidates for head coach or coordinator positions elsewhere.

Interest in backup QBs?
Harbaugh emphasized that the team is happy with backup quarterbacks Troy Smith and John Beck. But he predicted that the Ravens could receive some offers from other teams for them.

"My guess is there's going to be some people that are going to be interested in those two guys, so we're not going to hold them back," Harbaugh said. "But we're going to make sure we do what's best for the Ravens."

Harbaugh also said that Smith and Beck could battle for the No. 2 spot behind Flacco.

"We think we have two good, young backup quarterbacks - obviously, two guys that want to start in this league," he said. "So I think we're very happy with our situation. We're very content to have those guys as a strong two and a strong three, and even battling it out within those roles as we go forward."

End zone
Jalen Parmele may have cemented his role as primary kick returner. Filling in for Lardarius Webb after the rookie tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Dec. 20, Parmele averaged 31.4 yards on nine returns in the regular season. If rehabilitation and recovery keep Webb out until the middle of the season, Parmele could begin the year returning kicks. "You never know who's going to come in as a rookie or in the offseason," said Parmele, also a backup running back. "Right now, I was the last guy to do it. So I hope to be contending for the No. 1 spot. But you never really know how it's going to play out." … Offensive tackle Adam Terry, the team's second-round pick in 2005, underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee last August. While rehabilitation of the knee has been progressing with no setbacks, Terry has a history of injuries - which includes missing four games in 2008 because of a sprained knee and a concussion - that could raise a red flag with the front office. "That's up in the air right now," he said. "There's a lot of variables depending on how it unfolds. I'd like to come back. That's not my decision yet."

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