Could Baker Mayfield Land With the Ravens?
The Ravens selected Lamar Jackson with the final pick in the first round of the 2018 draft. Could the first-overall pick that year be a Raven next season?
The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec said he wouldn't be too quick to dismiss a potential Ravens-Baker Mayfield pairing.
"I'd fully expect Mayfield to sign somewhere that gives him the best opportunity to be the Week 1 starter. Maybe that's staying with the Rams if there are questions about Matthew Stafford's health. But if there's not a decent starting opportunity available to him, the Ravens would represent a soft landing spot," Zrebiec wrote. "It's well-documented that the Ravens liked Mayfield coming out of the draft. He has a good relationship with [Lamar] Jackson and he's close with [former Oklahoma teammate] tight end Mark Andrews."
Zrebiec added that Ravens decision-makers have always liked and respected Mayfield, who has played against Baltimore nine times (eight with the Cleveland Browns, once with the Carolina Panthers).
"When the Ravens faced Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers in 2022, [Owner Steve] Bisciotti jogged to the Panthers' side of the field to hug Mayfield in pregame warmups," Zrebiec wrote. "I'm not sure I've seen that before with a player that hadn't already played for the Ravens and had a previous relationship with the owner.
"A lot would have to happen for it to become a reality, but it does make some sense on the surface."
Mayfield's best season was in 2020, when he led the Browns to an 11-5 record and a playoff win, throwing 26 touchdown passes to eight interceptions. He was traded to the Panthers this past offseason and went 1-5 as a starter before being released. After being claimed by the Rams, Mayfield played extensively in five games, leading Los Angeles to two wins.
Greg Roman Reportedly Will Interview for Commanders' Offensive Coordinator Job
It's previously been reported that the Ravens and Washington Commanders are interested in Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their vacant offensive coordinator jobs, and now there's an interesting twist.
The Commanders are planning to interview former Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman for the job this week, according to ESPN's John Keim.
As for Bieniemy, it sounds like he indeed could be leaving Kansas City judging by comments from Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid yesterday.
"Eric Bieniemy has been tremendous for us and I think tremendous for the National Football League,'' Reid said. "I'm hoping he has an opportunity to go somewhere and do his thing where he can run the show and be Eric Bieniemy."
In other coaching news, the Ravens recently had conversations with former Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury about potentially joining their staff, according to CBS Sports' Josina Anderson.
Three Ravens Are Highest-Paid Player at Their Position
ESPN identified the highest-paid player at each position in terms of three-year average salary and total guaranteed money. The Ravens had three players make the list.
Roquan Smith is the highest-paid off-ball linebacker in three-year average salary ($20 million) and total guaranteed money ($60 million), and Justin Tucker is the highest-paid kicker in three-year average salary ($6.2 million) and total guaranteed money ($17.5 million). Ronnie Stanley is the highest-paid offensive lineman in total guaranteed money ($64.1 million); his $21.2 million three-year average salary is the third-highest.
Also, Mark Andrews is No. 3 in three-year average salary ($15.06 million) and No. 2 in total guaranteed money ($37.6 million) among tight ends, and Marlon Humphrey is No. 3 in total guaranteed money ($66.9 million) among cornerbacks.
Early 2023 Power Rankings Are Out
Even though the start of free agency is a month away and the draft is more than two months away, several outlets wasted no time in putting out their early power rankings for the 2023 season.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Jackson's contract situation, the Ravens are one of the more difficult teams to rank. Here's a look at where they landed:
"What the Ravens can and can't do in free agency revolves around quarterback Lamar Jackson. If Baltimore places the $45 million exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, the team will have very little salary cap space to do anything to improve at wide receiver and cornerback. If the Ravens reach a new deal with Jackson, they would have more than $20 million in cap room to upgrade his supporting cast. If Baltimore decides to trade Jackson, the team would rank among the top teams in cap space (more than $40 million)." — Jamison Hensley
"For the time being, let's assume the Ravens intend to build a better offense around Lamar Jackson. There's work to do, but the bones of a great team are in place. The uncertainty comes with the contract, as the franchise tag brings the possibility of a mega-trade or a holdout with it." — David Helman
"Until the Ravens reach a resolution with Jackson — whether it's the franchise tag, a long-term contract extension or a trade — it's impossible to predict what the team might look like in 2023. Assuming Jackson does return, the roster is well-positioned to make a playoff run. While the potential departures of [Marcus] Peters, [Justin] Houston and [Ben] Powers would leave big holes to fill, the Ravens have some promising replacements already on the roster and the ability to find upgrades in the draft and free agency. Nothing about the offseason is going to be easy — including the seemingly endless search for a star wide receiver — but there's a path for the Ravens to come out of it looking like a title contender." — C.J. Doon
Meanwhile, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler divided the 32 teams into tiers based on how much work they need to do this offseason and beyond. Fowler placed the Ravens in the "headed on the right track" tier.
He wrote: "The passing game looms large in the Ravens' offseason. Baltimore has yet to hire an offensive coordinator, which could have a ripple effect on its plans for quarterback Lamar Jackson. It likely will place the franchise tag on Jackson. What happens after that builds intrigue. The Ravens are saying the right things about keeping him, but they must decide whether they will match his desire to earn record guaranteed money—- or attempt to trade him. With receivers Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay recovering from injuries, the Ravens would be wise to comb free agency for a reliable downfield target for Jackson, too."
Ravens Trade Down in First Round in NFL.com Mock Draft
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter released his three-round mock draft, and he has the Ravens trading back in the first round.
In Reuter's scenario, the Ravens trade the No. 22-overall pick and their sixth-round pick to the New York Giants in exchange for the No.25-overall pick and a third-round pick. The Ravens then selected Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt in the first round.
"For the third time in five years, the Ravens select a receiver in the first round," Reuter wrote. "After trading Marquise Brown (No. 25 overall, 2019) during Thursday night's festivities last year, Baltimore could be looking for a speedster to play with 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman (No. 27). Hyatt possesses the pure speed to stretch defenses vertically."
In the third round, Reuter mocked Notre Dame edge rusher Isaiah Foskey to the Ravens at No. 86-overall and Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh at No. 100-overall.
The Ravens trading down in the first round to get an additional third-rounder makes sense given the fact that they only have five picks. Interestingly, Reuter did not have the Ravens drafting a cornerback, which is regarded as their second-biggest need after wide receiver, with any of their three picks.