One way or another, the Ravens are almost certain to have Joe Flacco locked up for at least the 2013 season before the start of free agency.
The same can’t be said of left tackle Bryant McKinnie. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports that the Ravens don’t expect to have a new deal done with McKinnie before he is eligible to hit the open market. Both sides have expressed an interest in continuing their working relationship, but waiting to ink a deal makes sense on both sides.
McKinnie gets a chance to see if the market pushes his price above what the Ravens might have been willing to offer while bidding against themselves. The Ravens, meanwhile, could wind up getting McKinnie at a cheaper price if the market has the opposite reaction as well as holding open the possibility of signing a different tackle whose price drops thanks to a crowded market for tackles this offseason.
The Flacco talks are obviously top priority for the Ravens, who are also expected to make a run at keeping linebacker Dannell Ellerbe from becoming a free agent. Per La Canfora, there haven’t been any talks with safety Ed Reed to this point.