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Free Agency Primer: Ravens QB Ryan Mallett


The Ravens have 11 players set to become unrestricted free agents, and we will provide a breakdown for each of them heading into the start of the new league year on March 9.

Let's continue the series with quarterback Ryan Mallett.

2016 stats: four games, 3-of-6 passing, 26 yards, one interception


Mallett was signed in December 2015 and started the final two games of that season. He beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium in his first Ravens action, throwing for 274 yards and one touchdown. But with Joe Flacco and his surgically-repaired knee back under center last year, Mallett was back to the bench, only seeing mop-up duty and a couple snaps when Flacco tore up his brace.

Why Ravens Should Keep Him

Mallett has spent more than a year with Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, so he would be capable of stepping in and running the offense if called upon. That kind of familiarity is comforting to have in a backup. Mallett, a 2011 third-round pick, has matured on and off the field. He's a strong-armed, big-bodied quarterback in the same mold as Flacco. He may come cheaper than some of the more experienced veterans on the market, but, with eight starts under his belt, is further along than a rookie.

Why He May Walk

The Ravens have only needed to go to their backup quarterback once in the past nine seasons. Baltimore can likely count on Flacco being more durable in 2017, as he'll be another year removed from his knee surgery. That makes the Ravens less likely to pay for an expensive backup if the asking price became too high on Mallett. Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the combine that the Ravens want Mallett back, but will also consider other options, including drafting a quarterback.

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