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Mailbag: Will the Ravens Bring Back Jadeveon Clowney?

OLB Jadeveon Clowney
OLB Jadeveon Clowney

Mink: The Ravens are reportedly interested in bringing back veteran Jadeveon Clowney, which is no surprise considering how good he was last season, and they need more options at outside linebacker. The flip side is that Clowney's 9.5 sacks and 29 quarterback pressures are also alluring to other teams.

According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Clowney will visit the Carolina Panthers this week, which would be a homecoming of sorts for the South Carolina native. The Panthers can't offer as strong a chance at reaching a Super Bowl in 2024 as the Ravens can, but they can probably offer more money because they have more salary-cap space.

Clowney and his agent will probably keep in touch with the Ravens. Head Coach John Harbaugh said Clowney's agent told him last season was the first time he finished a year happy and Clowney made it clear the day following the AFC Championship loss that he'd welcome a return. But money will probably be a big factor as always. As much as he wants to win and be in a good situation, Clowney will understandably want to cash in on his big year.

It's tough to say what the likelihood is. Hearing that there's interest from multiple teams this early in the free-agency process isn't a great sign. Clowney has typically not been in a rush to sign but visiting the Panthers indicates this offseason may be different.

Downing: Predicting injury timelines is a difficult game, particularly without all the medical details. What we do know is that Keaton Mitchell's knee injury happened in mid-December. We've seen in recent years that the Ravens have been cautious with players working their way back from knee injuries, particularly at running back with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Dobbins and Edwards both suffered their injuries prior to the 2021 season, but they still weren't ready for the start of the 2022 season more than year removed from those injuries. If Mitchell follows a similar timeline, then his status for the 2024 season is very much in question. But it's difficult to compare injuries between players because the specifics of injuries vary, as do the recovery timelines for individual athletes. The Ravens would love to have Mitchell on the field in 2024, but with the addition of Derrick Henry, Mitchell could make a last-season push.

As far as the offensive line, that rebuild is going to unfold over the course of the next few months. I expect the Ravens to add to the line in the draft and free agency. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Ravens draft a versatile lineman in the first round who can play tackle or guard. The Ravens will likely add multiple linemen over the course of draft weekend. In terms of free agency, the offensive line market is expensive. Left guard John Simpson just received a reported two-year, $18 million contract from the Jets. The Ravens are relatively tight against the salary cap, and if they are going to add a veteran, the second or even third wave of free agency seems like the more likely solution.

Mink: Derrick Henry vs. Patrick Queen will be one of the best matchups to watch this upcoming season. Henry hasn't had his biggest outings against the Steelers: three losses, 182 rushing yards, zero touchdowns. He'll look to change that this year and beyond.

We don't know whether the Ravens made Queen an offer. Eric DeCosta said on our podcast, The Lounge, last May that he wanted to extend Queen. But everyone also knew that with Roquan Smith's contract on the books, it was going to be unlikely that the Ravens could or would also pay Queen top dollar.

Queen's reported three-year, $41 million contract wasn't as hefty as pundits expected, but it's still nearly $14 million per year. As good as Queen was for the Ravens, that would be tough to allocate for with other bigger needs in Baltimore. My guess is Queen knew the Ravens respected him a lot, but that he was free to find the best deal out there for him.

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