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Late for Work: Derrick Henry Joining Ravens 'Is Sheer Perfection on So Many Levels'

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Michael Jackson (30) during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Michael Jackson (30) during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.

Derrick Henry Joining Ravens 'Is Sheer Perfection on So Many Levels'

It's been 10 days since the news broke that the Ravens and Derrick Henry had reached an agreement on a two-year deal, and the NFL world is still buzzing about the blockbuster move.

There have been plenty of huge signings and trades through the first two weeks of free agency, but perhaps none are bigger than the Ravens landing King Henry.’s Adam Schein is the latest pundit to laud the Henry signing, as he ranked it No. 1 on his list of favorite moves this offseason.

"Derrick Henry's relocation to Baltimore is sheer perfection on so many levels," Schein wrote. "Talk about the rich getting richer. ... The Ravens led the league in rushing last season, after all. And now they just added 'King Henry' to flank reigning MVP Lamar Jackson? That's a marquee move that we, the general football-watching public, wanted to see! And so did the running back himself.

"Henry popped on my SiriusXM Radio show, 'Scheinon Sports,' after the deal came together last week. He stated that Baltimore was a place he wanted to be and 'a perfect match.' Indeed it is. Henry's dominant, physical style is made for the 'Play like a Raven' mantra. Baltimore needed to change the conversation after the disheartening home loss to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. Yes, the defense has been terrific for years and Lamar remains one of the most special talents in football today. But [General Manager] Eric DeCosta, [Head Coach] John Harbaugh and Co. couldn't just run it back in the coming season. They needed something new and exciting. Henry is exactly that. The running back is motivated to make a run at a ring, and this Ravens squad clearly has the makeup of a true Super Bowl contender."

Schein said he isn't the least bit concerned about Henry's age (he turned 30 in January).

"He's been the runner-up in the rushing race in each of the past two seasons, and if you haven't noticed by now, the 6-foot-3, 247-pounder is just built different," Schein wrote. "Not to mention, Jackson will be even more comfortable in Year 2 with Todd Monken as his offensive coordinator -- which is a frightening thought for the rest of the league — meaning the Ravens won't need to overwork their new RB1. Carry the ball 15 times a game, move the chains, score touchdowns and close out wins in the fourth quarter. This is really a match made in heaven."

Adding Versatile OL Josh Jones 'Is Such a Ravens Signing'

The Ravens' other moves this offseason haven't been as headline-grabbing as the Henry signing, but just because they've flown under the radar doesn't mean they aren't impactful.

Yesterday's signing of veteran offensive lineman Josh Jones is the latest shrewd move by DeCosta.

The 26-year-old Jones, who has started 24 games over the past three seasons, provides versatility, experience, and depth for an offensive line that is being rebuilt this offseason.

Here's what pundits are saying about the Jones signing:

**Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger:** "Leave it to the Ravens to sign the young, upside potential swing tackle ten days into free agency. 10/10."

**’s Gregg Rosenthal:** "This is such a Ravens signing. Had Jones in my Top 101 because he looked like a legit starting LT in 2022 with the Cardinals."

The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec: "Making their first move to solidify an offensive line that has lost three starters this season, the Ravens added a versatile veteran with extensive starting experience. … Jones isn't viewed as a lock starter in what will be a new-look offensive line in 2024. This signing also is unlikely to impact the team's draft plans, where adding an offensive lineman or two figures to be a major focus. However, Jones does give Baltimore more options and more flexibility with his ability to play just about everywhere up front."

**ESPN’s Jamison Hensley:** "This move minimizes the Ravens' risk if they select an offensive lineman early in this year's draft. If the rookie isn't ready to start immediately, Baltimore can turn to Jones, a former third-round pick. Jones is also only 26, which means he has upside."

Hensley: Reworking Ronnie Stanley's Contract Is Ravens' Most Underrated Offseason Move

Adding and re-signing players aren't the only ways for teams to improve their rosters. Reworking players' contracts is also a useful tool.

Hensley said the Ravens’ most underrated move this offseason is restructuring left tackle Ronnie Stanley's contract, which freed up cap space and maintained stability at a critical position.

"This was a big win-win for Baltimore," Hensley wrote. "The Ravens gained much-needed $9.6 million in salary cap room and kept Stanley protecting Jackson's blind side. Stanley has been solid but he's struggled to stay healthy. Now, the Ravens get a motivated Stanley, a former Pro Bowl left tackle whose salary went from $11 million to $3 million. Stanley can make $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses if he plays, and as part of the reworked deal, he becomes a free agent next year. This is suddenly a critical contract year for Stanley."

There's Reportedly Strong Mutual Interest Between Odell Beckham Jr. and Dolphins After Meeting

The meeting between former Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the Miami Dolphins went well, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

"The mutual interest remains strong. Miami remains interested in signing him," Jackson wrote. "The question is whether they can see eye to eye on what he should be paid. The sides have discussed financial terms but no agreement had been reached as of late afternoon Thursday. … Whether the sides can agree on a salary that satisfies both parties will determine where this goes from here. Discussions are expected to continue."

In Miami, Beckham would be the No. 3 wide receiver behind Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

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