John Harbaugh hopes other free agents follow Pitta

John Harbaugh hopes other free agents follow Pitta
March 5, 2014, 5:00 pm
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(Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

OWINGS MILLS - As coach John Harbaugh sat beside tight end Dennis Pitta at a Wednesday press conference, a major question remained. Would there be future press conferences for Ravens free agents like left tackle Eugene Monroe, inside linebacker Daryl Smith, cornerback Corey Graham, or defensive lineman Arthur Jones?

As the Tuesday start of free agency approaches, re-signing Monroe remains the Ravens’ top priority. Harbaugh said the Ravens had made "aggressive offers" to several of their free agents. He admitted he was getting antsy, and that he had been pestering senior vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty about the status of negotiations with several players.

“I go down and see Pat like four times a day,” Harbaugh said. “We want to keep our guys, and we want our guys to be here, just like Dennis.”

[RELATED: If not Monroe, who plays left tackle?]

It is going to be difficult for the Ravens to keep all the free agents they want. Re-signing Monroe is priority No. 1, a 26-year-old left tackle who the Ravens traded for in October, in exchange for this year’s fourth-round and fifth-round draft picks. The Ravens elected not to franchise tag Monroe at $11.654 million, partly because they want to retain flexibility under the salary cap.

“We’ve got some options and we’ve got a little bit of room,” Harbaugh said. “You want to be smart and you want to make the most of your resources and put the best team we can together. That’s really what every one of these decisions ends up being about. It ends up being about using your resources in a way that’s the very best for your team, to make us as strong (a) team as we can possibly be.”

The Ravens will have an important hole to fill on the offensive line if Monroe departs. Harbaugh hopes to see Monroe at a future press conference, not playing for another team next season.

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