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Late for Work 8/10: Jadeveon Clowney Reportedly Mulling Offer From Ravens

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Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90) runs during an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, January 01, 2023 in Landover.

Jadeveon Clowney Reportedly Mulling Offer From Ravens

The Ravens have made a contract offer to Jadeveon Clowney after the free-agent defensive end visited the team on Tuesday and again Wednesday, according to CBS Sports' Josina Anderson.

Anderson added that Clowney is taking some time to consider the offer.

It has long been speculated that the Ravens will add a veteran edge rusher before the start of the regular season. Popular opinion was that Baltimore would bring back Justin Houston, who led the team with 9.5 sacks last season, but he signed with the Carolina Panthers this past weekend.

Clowney, 30, has often been linked to the Ravens in recent years. The No. 1-overall pick in 2014 and a three-time Pro Bowler, Clowney has played for four teams over the past five years, signing one-year deals each of the past three offseasons.

He played the past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. After recording nine sacks in 14 games in 2021, Clowney was hampered by injuries last season and had just two sacks in 12 games.

"But when healthy, Clowney has shown he can still get to the quarterback and make plays against the run," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote.

Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo, and Tyus Bowser are the Ravens' top returning edge rushers. The group also includes rookie fourth-round pick Tavius Robinson, who, like Oweh and Ojabo, has had a strong training camp. Bowser (knee) has yet to practice this offseason and is on the PUP list.

Veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy reportedly visited the Ravens last month, but he remains unsigned.

"It will be interesting where Baltimore goes from here," Zrebiec wrote. "The need is clear, but the Ravens have shown they're willing to be patient and they've maintained all along that they are comfortable with their three young edge rushers in Oweh, Ojabo and Robinson, along with the versatile Bowser.

"Does the Ravens' interest and visit with Clowney get Van Noy's attention and possibly lead to Baltimore getting him at a price point it can live with? Or is the Ravens' full attention on Clowney? It's, at least, good to have options. Melvin Ingram, Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Quinn are all available as well."

While Clowney would add more talent to the Ravens' defensive front, Baltimore's linebackers put on a show at yesterday's practice.

ESPN Proposes Two Trades Involving Ravens

ESPN analytics writer Seth Walder proposed five mutually beneficial trades, two of which involved the Ravens.

One scenario has the Ravens acquiring defensive end Chase Young of the Washington Commanders for 2024 third- and fifth-round picks. Young is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Washington declined to pick up his fifth-year option.

The No. 2-overall pick in 2020, Young has been limited to 12 games over the past two seasons due to injuries, but his talent is undeniable. He made the Pro Bowl his first season and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.

"His ability to beat blocks and get pressure is why I could see Baltimore taking a swing," Walder wrote. "The team just extended defensive tackle Broderick Washington to help solidify the interior of its defensive line, but edge rusher is a weakness, with Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo at the top of Baltimore's depth chart. Young gives the group instant upside and costs very little to the Ravens financially — only an approximate $1 million salary, per Roster Management System.

"If Young works out, Baltimore gets the value of his play and can consider re-signing him or letting him go for a compensatory pick (which it has a better shot of getting than the Commanders would if Washington kept Young this year). But even if he doesn't work out, the Ravens would probably still get some sort of compensatory pick if Young signs elsewhere next March."

Walder's other proposal has the Ravens sending versatile offensive lineman Patrick Mekari and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 2024 third-round pick.

Walder contended that Mekari's ability to play everywhere on the line makes him a good fit for the Jaguars, whose offensive line ranked 31st in pass block win rate in 2022. This offseason, their best pass-blocking tackle, Jawaan Taylor, left in free agency.

"So why a third-round pick for a non-starter? Because I'm not sure the Ravens would do it for anything less," Walder wrote. "All the reasons I just described, plus team control for two years at around $4 million, make him pretty valuable to Baltimore. But he's a little more valuable to the Jaguars, for whom he could assuredly start at some position. I can't imagine Baltimore wants to let him go, but a third-round pick is a third-round pick."

Ravens' Core of Young Talent Receives Surprisingly Low Ranking

Fox Sports’ David Helman ranked all 32 teams based on their core of young talent (players drafted between 2019-2023). Surprisingly, the Ravens were down at No. 23.

Helman noted that the Ravens have a roster entering its prime and ready to win, with established stars Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Odell Beckham Jr., and Ronnie Stanley leading the offense, and Roquan Smith, Marlon Humphrey, and Marcus Williams leading the defense.

"Let's not get it confused: this isn't to say the Ravens are a bad team," Helman wrote. "They've got plenty of talent, and if they can avoid being ravaged by injuries they should be one of the best teams in a stacked AFC. The question here is about young talent, and how the Ravens are set up for the future. How they move forward and put Jackson in a position to succeed will depend heavily on the development of several young players, as well as their ability to draft well."

Helman identified center Tyler Linderbaum (23) as the biggest standout among the Ravens' young players.

"With all due respect to Garrett Wilson and Kenneth Walker III, the rightful Offensive Rookie of the Year a season ago should've been Linderbaum, though we all know no center is ever going to get that kind of love," an NFL scout told Helman. "Linderbaum is a remarkable athlete. And think about what an ideal fit he is blocking for Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. Linderbaum served as a human bumper car for Jackson."

Helman named Ojabo (23) and safety Kyle Hamilton (22) as breakout candidates.

Steve Smith Sr. Dons Steelers Colors, Catches Passes From Kenny Pickett

When I saw the photo of former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. wearing Steelers black and gold on Twitter yesterday morning, I had to check my calendar to see if it was April 1.

Nope, it wasn't an April Fool's prank. Smith, an analyst for NFL Network, was a guest at Steelers training camp, where he caught passes from quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Judging by Smith's facial expression in his Twitter photo, he wasn't too enthused about wearing the colors of the Ravens' archrivals.

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