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Mark Zinno: The Ravens Need To Prioritize

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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Once again the Ravens announce the re-signing of one of their own. Thursday it was Jacoby Jones getting his deal. And as I settled in after the press conference at the castle in Owings Mills, no sooner did it end, than the news that the Carolina Panthers cut wide receiver Steve Smith broke. That lasted a few moments before the Ravens were named as the favorite to land the 35-year old, five-time Pro Bowler. Pundits on Twitter were all pointing to Baltimore as his likely new home.

I continue to point out that the Ravens have done nothing in free agency so far. And that’s a good thing. By nothing, I mean they have only re-signed their own players. They haven’t gone outside the organization yet. They should stick with that philosophy. I keep hearing that they are far apart with linebacker Darryl Smith. If the Ravens are as focused on Steve Smith as many say they are, I think their focus is on the wrong Smith. This is about priorities. The Ravens defense was stabilized by Darryl Smith in the middle. It’s not time to give that up.

If we have learned anything from the Seattle Seahawks in the past two months, it’s that defense is still the best way to win a championship. The Ravens know a lot about defense. If Steve Smith comes before Darryl Smith, that offense better plan on scoring 30 points a game because they will definitely be giving up a lot of points too. The Ravens have just over $15 million under the cap left. They still need a right tackle, a free safety, possibly a center and another wide receiver … in addition to hopefully bringing Darryl Smith back. That doesn’t seem like a lot of money. There is a quiet market for Darryl. The Broncos and Patriots have interest. It will be bad to lose him, but even worse to let him go to one of the two biggest competitors the Ravens have in the AFC.

Follow me on Twitter @MarkZinno

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