James Hardy, Mana Silva get early looks (updated with McGahee news)

How's this for a sign that the NFL free agent market is bloated right now - former Ravens offensive lineman Chris Chester signed a five-year, $20 million deal with the Redskins.

No offense to Chester, who's a nice guy and was a solid backup at guard and center for most of his time in Baltimore, but $20 million over five years? Sure sounds like a Skins type of move to me.

Chester is now the third member of the 2010 Ravens to sign a free agent deal with Washington, joining cornerback Josh Wilson and wide receiver Donte' Stallworth. I could make a bad joke about Redskins owner Dan Snyder saving on relocation fees, but I'll leave that alone.

Take from this what you will, but undrafted rookie safety Mana Silva wore No. 25 during yesterday's practice. For the last two years, that number has belonged to cornerback Chris Carr, who is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Have no doubt that if Carr re-signs with the Ravens, he'll have No. 25 back in his locker. I just thought it was worth noting.

Silva is an interesting guy to watch, by the way. He's got speed, size and, since unrestricted free agent safety Dawan Landry won't return, could make a play for a reserve spot in the secondary. Silva spent some time with the first-team defense during yesterday's practice, although that was with Ed Reed, Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura and Cary Williams all missing practice.

Also on the numbers topic, undrafted rookie running back Damien Berry, a University of Miami product, is wearing No. 23, which we all know previously was owned by running back Willis McGahee. That jersey goes from one member of The U's backfield to another.

With the Ravens' wide receiver rotation in flux right now following Derrick Mason's release, one guy to watch is James Hardy, the Bills' 2008 second-round pick who signed a reserve/futures contract with Baltimore late last season.

I've talked a bit about Hardy and his previous injury and production issues over the last few months, but at 6-foot-5, 220-lbs., he is a huge target, and clearly intrigues GM Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh.

While the former Indiana product struggled with the Bills, catching just 10 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns in two seasons, he got some reps opposite Anquan Boldin with the first-team offense yesterday and made a couple nice catches.

"He has a chance," Harbaugh said. "This guy was a second-round draft pick. He was highly-touted. We loved him in the draft when we looked at him. Obviously, it did not pan out up in Buffalo, but we'll see if he can pan out here."

UPDATE: The NFL news continues to come in fast. Running back Willis McGahee, cut by the Ravens earlier this week, has agreed to a three-year, $7.5 million deal with the Broncos, according to ProFootballTalk.

McGahee rushed for 2,802 yards and 31 touchdowns during his four years in Baltimore, the last two of which he served as the backup to Ray Rice.

UPDATED AGAIN: NFL.com is now reporting that McGahee's deal with the Broncos is not complete, and that Denver will be working out running backs this weekend.

We'll see where McGahee actually ends up, although it's clear it won't be back in Baltimore.

blog comments powered by Disqus