Why all the June free agent activity?

Earlier today, I wrote an entry about the Ravens’ free agent acquisitions this offseason, and how, with the exception of the Cory Redding signing, they waited until after June 1 to ink their veteran free agents.

One of the reasons why it took so long for the free agent wheels to get put in motion is likely because the coaches wanted a chance to assess the roster during minicamps and see where they needed some help.

They now have a better idea of where Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb and Ed Reed are in their respective rehabs, which led to the signing of safety Ken Hamlin and cornerback Walt Harris.

However, another main reason why the Ravens waited until June to make some moves centers around compensatory picks.

Any unrestricted free agent signed prior to June 1 hurts that team in the NFL’s formula that determines how compensatory draft picks are handed out. The teams that add big name UFAs early in the free agent period (I’m looking at you, Redskins) are much less likely to earn compensatory picks in the following year’s draft.

Prior to the June 1 point, the Ravens lost two unrestricted free agents, Dwan Edwards and Justin Bannan, and only signed Redding.

The Ravens could have signed Marc Bulger, Ken Hamlin or Walt Harris much earlier this offseason. By being patient and waiting until after June 1, however, the Ravens give themselves a much better chance of earning an additional pick or two in the 2011 Draft.


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