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With free agency approaching, Ravens NT Brandon Williams in win-win situation

With free agency approaching, Ravens NT Brandon Williams in win-win situation

Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams has played himself into a win-win situation.

As one of the NFL’s top run-stoppers, Williams will hit free agency March 9 unless the Ravens sign him to a long-term deal, or place the franchise tag on him during the Feb. 15 – March 1 window. Don’t expect the Ravens to franchise Williams, because it would cost them nearly $14 million. However, if the Ravens want to pay Williams that much money on a one-year deal in 2017, he will be glad to take it.

“I know the numbers of the franchise tag,” Williams said Monday on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “That’s not a bad amount of money for one year. If it happens, it happens. Pretty much I just get to be on my team again for another year.

“I just want to play football. That’s really what matters to me, and take care of my family.”

Losing Williams would leave a void on the Ravens’ defensive line, and assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said during Senior Bowl week that re-signing Williams was a priority. The leverage the Ravens have is that Williams enjoys playing in Baltimore. However, Williams will turn 28 years old Feb. 21, and knows he must maximize his bargaining position. If the Ravens are unwilling to give Williams the kind of long-term deal he is looking for, another team will.

“This is my first time, obviously, in free agency, and I’m not really sure what to expect,” Williams said. “I’m just going in with a clear mind.

“Baltimore is a great place, it’s not new to me. It’s comfortable, I know the playbook, I don’t have to worry about going to another place and looking for a home for my family, school for my kids. It all comes down to me taking care of my family, taking care of my kids for the long haul. That’s what it comes down to. Baltimore knows that. I’ve talked to (coach John) Harbaugh, (general manager) Ozzie (Newsome)…The biggest thing is taking care of my family.”

Williams’ family will be taken care of. But the question remains. Will the Ravens’ be signing Williams’ checks, or someone else?

“I’m anxious to see where my life takes me in less than a month,” Williams said.  “I’m excited, my family’s excited. We’ve talked about it, been praying about it. We’re just excited to see what this new chapter in life holds, whether it’s with Baltimore or somewhere else.”

MORE RAVENS: Will Ravens target highly prized Michigan players?

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Proposed NFL rule change would eliminate Ravens' intentional holding strategy

Proposed NFL rule change would eliminate Ravens' intentional holding strategy

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

It made everyone do a double-take, then it made perfect sense to non-Cincinnati and non-Pittsburgh fans.

Back in Week 12 when the Baltimore Ravens held off the Cincinnati Bengals 19-14, it wasn't a single touchdown that made national headlines. Rather it was a game ending safety that cut a seven-point deficit to only five. 

On the final play, numerous Ravens players held the opposing Bengals, who were setting up to receive punt, with 11 seconds left on the clock. Punter Sam Koch, just sat back, draining the clock before finally running out the back of the end zone with the clock at zero. 

SEE LINK FOR FULL RULE EXPLANATION

Thursday it was proposed to the NFL's Competition Committee to make plays like this illegal. 

While it may be considered unfair to some, making this new rule would simply add to an already expanding rule book and only be used for a select handful of plays a year, maybe. 

Eliminating cleverness of coaches that are well versed in the NFL rule book, should not be the approach of the of rule adaptations. There is no impact on player safety nor does it make the game 'more watchable' (like the extra-point rule).

Not only that, but the new proposed rule just leaves another set of loopholes for coaches to take advantage of at the end of a game. What if team trying to score on the last play commits two offensive penalties just to get another shot at the endzone?

But before making a massive overhaul to fix all of the loopholes in the NFL rule book, can we establish what a catch is first?

MORE RAVENS: Tony Jefferson used Madden to make free agency decision

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Ravens mock draft roundup: Mike Williams continues to pop up

Ravens mock draft roundup: Mike Williams continues to pop up

Just over a month away from the NFL Draft, mock drafts across sport media sites are beginning to narrow in on players that fit specifically into blaring holes on a team's roster.

As the first wave of free agency has come through, a majority of the top names at each position has been snatched up. While the Baltimore Ravens can still sign a handful of free agents on the open market, getting backup or a young star in a key position can be a the primary goal. 

Here's a look at who some of the various analysts have the Ravens taking with their No. 16 pick in the first round. The general consensus is help in the defensive secondary and at the wide receiver position.

DE Taco Charlton, Michigan, Ben Standig, CSN-Mid Atlantic

Standing: At some point the Ravens must find an edge pass rushing replacement for Terrell Suggs. Charlton might be better stopping the run than rushing the passer right now and yet he had nine sacks in 10 regular season games.  

SEE STANDIG'S FULL 2017 MOCK DRAFT

SS Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, Rob Rang, CBS Sports

Rang: With starting safety Matt Elam a pending free agent and Eric Weddle poised to enter his 11th NFL season, the Ravens may very well be looking for help in the secondary in the 2017 draft. Peppers starred as a linebacker in 2016 but possesses the agility and speed to handle coverage.

WR Mike Williams, Clemson, Dane Brugler, CBS Sports

Brugler: The Ravens have plenty of speed at receiver, but only average size. Williams has only average speed, but his body control, catch radius and overall size are where he shines.

WR John Ross, Washington, Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Brooks: An electric playmaker with speed to burn would be a welcome addition to an offense that wants to play long ball with Joe Flacco at quarterback.

DE Charles Harris, Missouri, Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

Jeremiah: Harris is a very productive edge rusher who is plenty athletic enough to drop in coverage if needed.

WR Mike Williams, Clemson, Chris Burke, SI.com

Burke: Baltimore has two receivers, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman, who can scorch defenses deep. They need a physical, intermediate threat. Check.

CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, Peter Schragers, FOX Sports

Schragers: I seem to be a lot higher on Humphrey than other mock draft pundits. Oh well. I’ll ride with the star of the Alabama defensive backfield from last season. The son of NFL running back Bobby Humphrey, he was a stud at the well-known Hoover High and a prime recruit of Nick Saban’s. An opportunistic player who started for two seasons in Tuscaloosa, Humphrey forced three fumbles and intercepted two passes in 2016. Baltimore already has added Brandon Carr and Tony Jefferson to its defensive backfield but might not be done.

RELATED: REDSKINS MOCK DRAFT ROUNDUP