Last week, I published an article talking about what has happened so far this Ravens offseason. I want to give you another Baltimore Ravens news update. This time, we are going to talk about what has happened, what didn’t happen, and what still needs to get done. Remember all of this is just from my perspective!
Baltimore Ravens Free Agent Signings
I personally believe that Ravens free agency started off great with the Kevin Zeitler signing. After that the team focused mainly on retaining their own players, which is what they tend to do most years. The Ravens re-signed the following players:
- Tyus Bowser, OLB.
- Chris Board, ILB.
- Nick Boyle, TE.
- Pernell McPhee, OLB.
- Derek Wolfe, DE.
- Eric Tomlinson, TE.
- Jordan Richards, S.
- Justin Ellis, DT.
- Khalil Dorsey, CB.
- Geno Stone, S.
- Gus Edwards, RB (tender).
- Trystan Colon-Castillo, C (tender).
- Kristian Welch, ILB (tender).
The Ravens did not pick up ILB L.J. Fort’s option. They also freed up some salary cap space by restructuring Marcus Peters contract, as well as moving money around with Brandon Williams’ and Calais Campbell’s contracts. As far as losses go, so far the Ravens lost these player to 2021 NFL free agency:
- Matt Judon, OLB, to the New England Patriots.
- Yannick Ngakoue, DE/EDGE, – to the Las Vegas Raiders.
- Morgan Cox, LS, to the Tennessee Titans.
- Mark Ingram II, RB, to the Houston Texans.
- Jihad Ward, DE/OLB, to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Chris Moore, WR/RS, to the Houston Texans.
- Willie Snead IV, WR, to the Las Vegas Raiders.
- Matt Skura, G/C, to the Miami Dolphins.
Another Baltimore Ravens news update is on the Josh Oliver trade. The Ravens traded the Jagurs a conditional 2022 seventh-round draft pick for tight end Josh Oliver. If he doesn’t make the roster, the Ravens don’t give up a pick. He is a former third-round pick, but injuries have slowed him down. In college, he was pretty good as a receiving tight end, finishing in 2018 with 56 receptions for 709 yards and 4 touchdowns. If he can stay healthy, this would be a steal for the Ravens. I am happy with this Ravens trade because he only had one NFL season so far, so he could very well stay healthy and put up great numbers behind Mark Andrews.
These are the other Ravens free agents that haven’t been signed by any team yet:
- Dez Bryant, WR.
- Pierre Desir, DB.
- D.J. Fluker, G/T.
- L.J. Fort, ILB.
- Anthony Levine Sr., DB/LB.
Baltimore Ravens News Update: What didn’t happen?
In a recent post, I talked about some Ravens free agency rumors. Kenny Golladay was someone the Ravens seemed to be interested in before he was signed by the Giants. I personally don’t think the Ravens were ever going to pay $18 million a year for a wide receiver.
There also seemed to be a rumor that the Ravens were interested in Melvin Ingram, Kyle Van Noy, Haason Reddick, and Carlos Dunlap. I am not sure what went on with the ladder three. But I believe they are still interested in Melvin Ingram, which I think is a necessary signing.
Who did the Ravens just sign?
The Ravens also had a visit with Sammy Watkins. I posted before the visit was annouced about how Watkins tweeted me back on Twitter and seemed open to the idea. Then, Watkins had a visit the next days with the Colts. Out of nowhere, the Ravens sent an offer to T.Y. Hilton. I believe they offered Hilton to stop the Colts from pursuing Sammy Watkins. That allowed Baltimore to avoid a bidding war on Watkins with a team that has more cap space. Baltimore signed Sammy Watkins to a 1-year deal worth $5 million.
I think Watkins is an upgrade, regardless of health concerns. He can a solid WR2 to open up the passing game for Lamar Jackson. Having another reliable outside target is also gonna stop the defense from being able to just stack the box, especially in the playoffs. Watkins put up nearly 300 yards in the playoffs when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2020. Without him, you could make an argument that the Chiefs may have not won the Super Bowl that year.
Stop listening to the media about Ravens and wide receivers!
Everyone keeps buying into the media that “no WRs are interested in blocking or playing for the Ravens.” But they only offered Hilton a 3-year deal for $16 million. The Colts offered a 1-year $10 million dollar deal. The Ravens didn’t offer more per year lol. I just want to kill that narrative now because it is crap. They also offered JuJu Smith-Schuster around a million more in guaranteed money than the Steelers, but he wanted to stay in Pittsburgh out of loyalty. Let’s face it all of these receivers will probably be able to hit the market and get more money next offseason. That is the truth. It has little to do with not wanting to play for the Ravens. Who, by the way, are one of the most successful franchises of the last 20 years. Obviously, Sammy Watkins didn’t care about that narrative.
Well, what needs to happen this Ravens offseason?
I am not sure yet if the Ravens are going to trade Orlando Brown Jr. If they do, that obviously changes some things. However, let’s say they don’t. We currently have 7 2021 NFL Draft picks, with only two in the first two rounds. As far as needs go, I would say the Ravens biggest needs are another experienced pass rusher, offensive line help (guard or center depending upon where they have Bradley Bozeman play), slot cornerback depth, and a coverage safety. The Ravens would also benefit from adding a rookie to the defensive line.
With that being said, I know the Ravens love cap casualties. They want to keep their compensatory picks. People get mad about that, but those picks can help. Last year, the Ravens used comp picks on Tyre Phillips and Ben Bredeson, two players that took snaps last season and provided valuable depth at guard. Phillips actually started 8 games and he also had a fumble recovery for 13 yards and a first-down.
One cap casualty that makes a lot of sense to me is Trai Turner. He is an offensive guard that had 5 Pro Bowls in a row with the Carolina Panthers before going to Los Angeles. He didn’t have the best 2020 with the Chargers, but you can’t help but think maybe it had more to do with the team. You can’t ignore 5 Pro Bowls in a row before he went to LA. His 2020 performance could lower his cost. If the Ravens bring in Turner, they can shift Bozeman to center (which he played in college and helped Alabama win two National Championships). That would complete the offensive line if Brown isn’t traded.
What about the Ravens defense and pass rush?
As far as the pass rush goes, I think the Ravens should draft someone and add any one of these players:
- Jadeveon Clowney
- Melvin Ingram
- Aldon Smith
- Justin Houston
- Olivier Vernon
The Ravens could also benefit from drafting someone who can help out at slot cornerback and safety, such as Elijah Molden. Or maybe even try and bring in safety Malik Hooker. DeShon Elliot and Chuck Clark are solid safeties, but they both play like strong safeties. Neither one is that great in coverage.
With their first two picks of the 2021 NFL Draft, I expect the Ravens to target offense and defense. After signing Sammy Watkins, I believe the Ravens will focus on the offensive line and pass rush in the first two rounds.
That about does it for this Baltimore Ravens news update. What do you think still needs to get done this offseason for the Ravens?
While you are here, check out more Ravens news:
Ravens Rumors: Are they freeing up space for a trade?
Ravens News: What has happened so far this offseason?
Where to find the Cheapest Baltimore Ravens Gear?
Antonio Brown Ravens: Could AB help out the Ravens passing game?
Sammy Watkins Twitter Rumor: Watkins to the Baltimore Ravens?
Ravens Free Agency: Kevin Zeitler Signing, Haason Reddick?
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