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Late for Work: Three Cap Casualties the Ravens Could Target

Dallas Cowboys' Michael Gallup plays during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Philadelphia.
Dallas Cowboys' Michael Gallup plays during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Philadelphia.

Three Cap Casualties the Ravens Could Target

So far, the Ravens have focused their free-agency efforts on bringing back their own players. They've inked one new player in running back Derrick Henry and stockpiled compensatory picks for 2025.

The Ravens have a history of signing veteran free agents who were released by their former teams to open up cap space. Signing those players doesn't affect the compensatory pick formula.

Baltimore Beatdown’s Joshua Reed identified several cap casualties the Ravens could target to fill positions of need. Here's a look at three:

WR Michael Gallup

"The six-year veteran was released by the Dallas Cowboys on March 15 with a Post-June 1 designation. Gallup is coming off three straight seasons that were marred by injuries and inconsistent production after recording 1,950 receiving yards and scoring 11 touchdowns from 2019-2020. While he played in every game this past season, Gallup only managed to record 34 receptions on 57 targets for career-low 418 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Nevertheless, he is a strong possession receiver who knows how to work the boundary, excels at making contested catches, and can be a threat in the red zone. Even though he's still just 28 years old, his market likely won't be robust given his lack of recent production and how deep this year's incoming draft class is at the position."

WR Allen Robinson

"The 10-year veteran was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 8. … The former Pro Bowler is coming off the least productive season of his career albeit in one of the worst offenses in the league. He appeared in all 17 games and recorded the second-fewest catches of his career (34) and career lows in receiving yards (280) and yards per catch (8.2) and touchdowns (zero). At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Robinson would provide the Ravens with a big-bodied receiving option that it's currently lacking. The 30-year-old won't command a prohibitive salary and is likely willing to sign a one-year, prove-it type deal with a contender that is heavily incentive-based."

EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah

"The eight-year veteran was released by the Miami Dolphins on February 23 despite a solid bounce-back season from injury in which he recorded 5.5 sacks in 15 games. Ogbah is just two years removed from recording nine sacks and 20-plus quarterback hits in back-to-back seasons. He'll be another year removed from the torn triceps injury that cut his 2022 season short after 11 games and could continue to thrive in a rotational role. The Ravens have a pair of 10-year veterans that they'd like to have back in Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy, who each had career years in 2023. If they strike out on both, Ogbah would be a solid contingency plan. He could be the next veteran edge defender to get signed at a discount and go on to have a big year."

How could the Ravens still fill some needs in free agency? Here's who's still out there.

Baltimore Ravens Editorial Director Ryan Mink
Ryan Mink

Editorial Director

Chiefs' Marquise Brown Says He Doesn't Regret Asking for Trade From Ravens

During Marquise "Hollywood' Brown's introductory video conference with the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday, the wide receiver was asked if he still felt like his request for a trade from the Ravens two years ago was the right decision.

Brown was coming off the best season of his three-year career (91 catches for 1,008 yards) when he made the request, which the Ravens granted by sending him to the Arizona Cardinals for a first-round pick (which the Ravens used to select center Tyler Linderbaum).

Brown's production fell off in Arizona, where he had 118 receptions for 1,283 yards and seven touchdowns in 26 games. This past season, Brown had 51 catches for a career-low 574 yards and four touchdowns.

Still, Brown said he doesn't regret asking for a trade.

"Yeah, I feel like that was the best decision for me," Brown said. "At the end of the day, if you're not happy with yourself or you're not happy with what's going on, you can't put your best foot forward on the field. So, I feel like my time in Arizona, I mean, I didn't accomplish stuff I wanted to accomplish on the field. But as a man, I grew — I grew closer with God, I grew closer in my relationship with my family. And I feel like God put me in that situation because I needed it."

The trade has worked out well for the Ravens. Linderbaum started all 17 games as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl in his second season. Last year, Baltimore drafted wide receiver Zay Flowers in the first round to fill the void left by Brown, and Flowers set rookie franchise records with 77 catches for 858 yards.

Brown, who signed a one-year, $7 million deal (worth up to $11 million) with the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, believes he's now in the right system to flourish.

"Being in this system, I feel like I'll be able to showcase my skill set," Brown said. "I still feel like there's a lot of my game that I really haven't gotten to show people. And that's probably what I'm excited about the most being here, is to just put my best foot forward and show what I can do."

Predicting Whether Ravens Will Exercise Fifth-Year Options of Rashod Bateman, Odafe Oweh

Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger predicted the fifth-year option decisions for every 2021 first-round pick. The Ravens had two first rounders in 2021: wide receiver Rashod Bateman (No. 27 overall) and outside linebacker Odafe Oweh (No. 31.).

Spielberger said the decision on Bateman "could be really tough," but he believes the Ravens will decline.

"Bateman has dealt with various injuries and disappeared at times when on the field," Spielberger wrote. "He's still a clear top-two wideout on this roster alongside 2023 first-round rookie Zay Flowers, but his 46 receptions and 515 yards from his rookie season remain his career-best marks."

Spielberger predicted the Ravens will exercise Oweh's option.

"Oweh was showing all the signs of taking the third-year leap in 2023 before some injuries caused him to miss some time, but he hit the ground running after returning and showed he is the clear No. 1 edge defender on this roster," Spielberger wrote. "With another offseason and a healthier 2024, he could be one of the big breakout players of the season, which makes exercising this option all the more paramount."

The Ravens are expecting both Bateman and Oweh to make a significant impact in 2024. When Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked about Bateman during the season review press conference, he said the wide receiver "has a great future."

"I want 'Bate' to flourish and make a bunch of plays, and he's going to do that, and I think he'll be a bigger part of it next year, just by the fact that he was healthy all year this year [and] had a chance to establish himself that way, and he'll be starting," Harbaugh said. "He'll be playing all those snaps, and he'll rise to the occasion."

The deadline for exercising the options is May 2.

Ravens Slip in The Athletic's Latest Power Rankings and The Athletic have updated their power rankings following the conclusion of the free agency frenzy. Here's a look at where the Ravens landed:

Current ranking: No. 3. Post-Super Bowl ranking: No. 3.

"I thought about ranking the Ravens first or second, and they'd be entirely deserving of a spot that lofty, but I do want to see how they handle the depth they've lost; plus, replacing the impact of former Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald (who left to head up the Seahawks) isn't a finger-snap operation. Yes, Eric DeCosta and a great scouting staff always seem to find a way. They nail the draft more often than not and have a keen eye for reclamation projects. They kept Justin Madubuike, added Derrick Henry and still have Lamar Jackson and the makings of another competitive team around him. So, no, the ship is not listing; it's just taking on a little water right now. Come May, the Ravens might be full steam ahead again, as they often are by that time of year." — Eric Edholm

The Athletic

Current ranking: No. 6. Post-Super Bowl ranking: No. 4.

"The Ravens lost a lot of good players in free agency, but they extended star defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and added Henry, which makes it hard to be too down on Baltimore. Henry is 30 and since he entered the league in 2016, he's the only player in the NFL with more than 10,000 yards. If he can hold up physically, the Ravens' run game with Henry and quarterback Lamar Jackson is going to be formidable." — Josh Kendall

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