Various thoughts on various things, each in 50 words or less:
It's no surprise the Ravens are franchise-tagging Matthew Judon. That was the easy step in their process of figuring out a way forward with him. The hard part is trying to agree on a long-term deal, and if they can't, whether to keep him for another year or trade him.
If they can't reach a deal (and it won't be easy; pass rushers are expensive), I'd say yes to keeping Judon in 2020, regardless of any future ramifications. As long as Lamar Jackson in on his rookie contract, the Ravens have a great opportunity and should be in win-now mode.
Fortunate not to be in-season as the coronavirus strikes, the NFL will have the sports stage pretty much to itself when free agency opens next week. In other words, any news about Tom Brady will receive the kind of giant-font treatment normally given to presidential elections.
If the Ravens make a splashy move, which I'm expecting, my guess is it will address the defensive front seven – their top priority this offseason. That means it could be an interior lineman, edge rusher or inside linebacker, all positions that could stand to be bolstered.
Acknowledged masters of the compensatory-pick game, the Ravens loosed an audible cheer when they received a third-round pick instead of a fourth-round pick for C.J. Mosley even though their former linebacker barely played for the New York Jets in 2019 because of an injury.
Marshal Yanda's retirement speech was among the most insightful and authentic I've heard. One of my favorite lines: "You have to experience some adversity to achieve greatness." It was an interesting comment with the Ravens' playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans behind them and another winning season likely looming.
There'll be a lot of hand-wringing about the state of the offensive line now that Yanda is gone. And yes, the line absolutely needs to be solid. But honestly, given Jackson's ability to escape danger and make things happen, the caliber of the line isn't quite as crucial.
Even with an extra $7 million to spend due to Yanda's retirement, I don't envision the Ravens investing in a top-tier replacement via free agency. That could cost $13 million a year, a ton for a guard. I'd look for more of a "right player, right price" move.
One more thought on Yanda: I blinked when he said he'd undergone eight surgeries in 13 years. That means more months of rehab than he'd cared to count. Fans and media take for granted that players who suffer injuries will return. But the work involved should never be taken for granted.
Non-Ravens take: Even with the virus dominating local news, Baltimore's sports world palpably shuddered when it was revealed the Orioles' Trey Mancini had a malignant tumor removed from his colon. He's a terrific young man by all accounts and I'm wishing him nothing but the best.