Ravens free agency is nearly upon us!
Honestly, it gets me so excited to think about the Ravens free agency. Though, I am not entirely sure why because the Ravens never really make a big splash free agent signing.
However, I understand why they do what they do. It’s foolish to overspend in free agency, especially when you are a team that wants to be in playoff contention every year. The Ravens have always been one of the most successful teams since they came into the NFL.
While you obviously want to be able to keep your homegrown talent, the Ravens have been good at drafting well, keeping the absolute best players, and filling the voids with bargain free agents.
What will Ravens free agency look like in 2021?
After the Ravens re-sign their ERFAs and put the expected second-round tender on Gus Edwards, they’ll probably only have around $14 million in cap space. Ravenswire estimated it to be around $10 million after re-signing, but that was if the league cap is $176 million. It’s projected to be closer to $180 million.
Also, that doesn’t include if they want keep any other players, such as Tyus Bowser, Matt Judon, etc. My guess is that the Ravens will end up extending players like Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, and Marcus Peters to create anywhere from $10-24 million more in cap space.
There have also been talks about extending Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews, but I don’t see that happening this year. I don’t even want to bring up Orlando Brown Jr either. But if he is traded, that would free $3 million in cap space depending upon the trade. I vote for the trade because Eric DeCosta has proven to be amazing at trades, just look at the Marcus Peters and Calais Campbell trades.
So how much cap room will their be for Ravens free agency?
Listen, I don’t want to speculate anymore on that. I have no idea because so many different things could happen to increase or potentially decrease the cap room, depending upon Ravens trades, re-signings, restructures, cuts, extensions, etc. We know that the front office is not scared to do anything to help us remain in playoff contention and get closer to a Super Bowl.
Let’s just consider some possible Ravens free agency pickups. What are the needs for the Ravens in free agency? Since this article is about 5 potential signings in Ravens free agency, I would say a center, a wide receiver, a tackle or guard, an edge rusher, and a coverage safety are the most needed free agent signings for the Ravens.
#1 Alex Mack – Center
After seeing the issues the Ravens had in the playoffs with bad snaps, we need a veteran presence at center. Alex Mack is 35 years old, so he doesn’t have many years left. But he has been great in his career and he is reliable. I am nearly positive the Ravens will draft some depth at center, but we can’t afford to gamble right now. We need to be able to snap the ball to win. There is no way to improve on offense if you can’t even snap the ball.
I say that the Ravens sign Alex Mack to a one or two-year deal, while they train up a young center or someone on the roster. Alex Mack could probably be signed to a $5 million or less per year deal because he wants to win a Super Bowl. He has already been on a team that lost one.
#2 Adam Thielen – WR
I know this one doesn’t technically count as a free agent signing for the Ravens. But just hear me out. There have been rumors, 2021 and 2020 included, linking the Ravens to Adam Thielen. In fact, it was said they wanted to trade for him when they traded for Yannick Ngakoue. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
However, the Vikings know they have a number one receiver in Justin Jefferson now. They also need to decide on a left tackle of the future. With Orlando Brown Jr, they would get that. Adam Thielen is a huge cap hit of around $16 million and the Vikings don’t have much cap space already. This is a win-win for both teams because the Ravens could just restructure the contract. The contract is also set up to where there wouldn’t be that much dead money for the Vikings.
Adam Thielen is getting older, but he is a reliable receiver. He still had 14 touchdowns last season. That was 3rd in the NFL, only behind Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill. This would be a huge upgrade to the Ravens passing game.
#3 Rick Wagner – Tackle
If Orlando Brown Jr is traded, the Ravens are going to need to immediately patch that hole. I believe they would re-sign DJ Fluker to add a veteran to play guard alongside Bradley Bozeman. However, Rick Wagner (who is a former Raven) could immediately come in and patch up that hole. It isn’t the same, but it would be ideal. The reason being is that he wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Furthermore, he knows the Ravens and we could probably get him for around $4.5 million a year.
#4 Melvin Ingram – Edge Rusher
Melvin Ingram only started 7 games last season. He’s been with the Chargers his entire career. I am sure that he is ready to go somewhere new and potentially win a Super Bowl. Even though he only started 7 games last season, he has been a very reliable edge rusher over the years. He would definitely add a veteran presence to the Ravens and boost their pass rush.
We are losing Matt Judon and Yannick most likely. Ingram could help fill the void of losing them. Honestly, they didn’t really produce much last season anyway. And Ingram would be a lot cheaper.
#5 Malik Hooker – Safety
While the Ravens may have two good strong safeties in Chuck Clark and Deshon Elliot, they need a better coverage safety. That’s where someone like Malik Hooker comes into play.
Yes, injuries have plagued Malik Hooker. And we already have that issue with Tavon Young. But from 2018-2019, Hooker recorded 96 tackles and has 7 career interceptions. That’s 7 interceptions in 36 career games. Those may not be the best numbers ever, but still better than Clark or Elliot.
Malik Hooker would fill an important hole in the Ravens defense. He also wouldn’t break the bank. The Ravens could sign him to a cheap one year prove it deal.
The Ravens love to bargain shop in free agency. I think these 5 potential candidates would improve the Ravens tremendously. We are very close to our third Super Bowl. I can just feel it!
Check out some other potential Ravens offseason moves here.
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