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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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Ravens 2017 Preseason Schedule: Opponents, Dates, Times, TV Channel, How to Watch

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USA Today Sports

Ravens 2017 Preseason Schedule: Opponents, Dates, Times, TV Channel, How to Watch

The 2017 NFL preseason will be here in no time. Once the preseason gets here, it is just a matter of time (a month) before the regular season is set to begin. 

Back in April the NFL announced the preseason schedule for all 32 teams.

The Baltimore Ravens four preseason games will span across four weeks starting on August 10, running to August 31. 

Opening up the exhibition schedule, the Ravens will host their beltway rivals, the Washington Redskins on August 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on WBAL-TV, as well as the other three preseason games. 

RAVENS 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1 Ravens vs. Redskins:

Opponent: Washington Redskins
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
When: Thursday, August 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 2: Ravens at Dolphins

Opponent: Miami Dolphins
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Florida
When: Thursday, August 17, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 3: Ravens vs. Bills

Opponent: Buffalo Bills
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
When: Sunday, August 26, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 4: Ravens at Saints

When: Thursday, August 31, 8:00 p.m. ET
Opponent: New Orleans Saints
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

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Amid Eric Decker rumors, Ravens front office now shifts attention to offensive line

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USA TODAY Sports

Amid Eric Decker rumors, Ravens front office now shifts attention to offensive line

Following the signing of veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin, the Ravens were rumored to be a potential suitor for Eric Decker after his release from the New York Jets. 

Although receiver is a position that must improve, Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti recently made it clear that the team needs to address the offensive line now. 

The Ravens offensive line faces major changes after right tackle Ricky Wagner signed with the Detroit Lions this offseason, center Jeremy Zuttah was traded to the 49ers, and guard Marshal Yanda is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. 

In the 2016 draft, the Ravens took Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the 6th overall pick. Stanley had an impressive rookie campaign, earning AFC North Rookie of the Year in a season where he only allowed three sacks while blocking for Flacco. 

The team added some young talent in this year's draft as well, taking guard Nico Siragusa (No. 122) and Jermaine Eluemunor (No. 159) both in the fourth round. 

However, it is unsure if either rookie is ready to be thrown into the starting offensive line right away.

The Ravens front office may have just made a big splash when signing Jeremy Maclin, but they aren't quite done fixing an offense that has suffered many departures over the years. 

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