Chris Carr proved his worth last season, stepping in for an injured Domonique Foxworth to become a dependable starting cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens.
Carr's expert relief work came in the final season of a two-year deal. Now a free agent, Carr said he'd like to remain with the always-competitive Ravens -- but only if he sees regular playing time.
"If they see me having a big role, then I'm going to want to come back here," Carr told the Carroll County Times in Wednesday's editions. "If not, then no because I feel like every year of my career I've gotten better and I'm only going to get better. I don't want to be pigeonholed as a backup because I'm not a backup.
"I'm better than a lot of corners in this league," said Carr, who spoke at teammate Ed Reed's football camp. "If they want me to play a big role, then, yes, I definitely want to come back, but if they don't and another team wants me to play a big role, then I'll probably go someplace else."
"It's really hard to say because you don't know what they're thinking exactly," he said. "I always told people the Ravens would have been stupid not to draft two corners during the draft because they're not sure how free agency is going to go, and you have three corners who are unrestricted, (so) you have to get corners because you might not be able to sign them during free agency."
"So, I'm not sure what their mindset is after that, and I'm not sure what their mindset is going into free agency now," Carr said. "It's really one of those things where it's really up in the air because most years people say there's not supposed to be any talking, but players know what teams are going to be interested in them.
"This year, it hasn't been like that because of the lockout. Teams didn't want to tamper or break any rules, so there's been no talking. So, I have no clue what teams are interested, and I have no clue what the Ravens are thinking about right now."
Carr has bounced around the NFL during his five-year career, including stops with the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans before landing with the Ravens in 2009. Carr's nickel role was expanded when a serious knee injury wiped out Foxworth's season last summer. Carr responded with a career-best 61 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Carr speaks with a level of bravado that makes it clear he's not looking for a lesser role going forward.
"To me, it's evident that I was just as good or better than everybody that we had, and they (the Ravens) know that I know everything," Carr said. "I'm versatile. They know how well I jelled with everybody and how well I communicated with Ed Reed. They know I helped out a lot. I can't imagine them thinking that I can't do it. My confidence is sky high. I'm not really worried about it.
"It's a waiting game. If I don't come back, it's been great."