The Ravens are in the market for a backup quarterback.
Ryan Mallett, the backup for the last two years, is an unrestricted free agent, and the Ravens seem intent on finding a cheaper option at the position. That means they could turn to the draft to add a rookie to the mix, or go with last year’s practice squad quarterback Josh Woodrum as Joe Flacco’s top backup.
“We just don’t have a lot of cap space to go out and spend $3 million for a proven backup quarterback like some teams are able to do,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday from the NFL League Meetings. “That’s not the way we want to spend our tight cap dollars, so we’re going to have to find a way to do it.”
The Ravens currently have a little more than $9 million in salary-cap space, according to Spotrac, but they want to put that to use in other areas. They could still sign another receiver or a pass-catching tight end.
The expectation has been that the Ravens would likely take a quarterback at some point in this year’s draft, which they haven’t done since taking sixth-round pick Keith Wenning in 2014, but Harbaugh indicated that’s not a guarantee.
“That will be interesting to see because I don’t know. We don’t know,” Harbaugh said about the backup spot. “It could go rookie. It could go Josh Woodrum. It could go veteran.”
Woodrum, 25, spent last year on Baltimore’s practice squad. The Liberty University product earned a spot on the practice squad after impressing during the preseason.
He went 25-of-36 passing for 321 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran 16 times for 42 yards and a pair of scores.
He showed promise in his preseason outings, and the Ravens plan to give him a good look this offseason and in training camp.
“I’m not so certain that Josh Woodrum can’t do it,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll have to prove it, but he was pretty good last year and he has all the intangibles. That’s where it starts and we’ll work from there.”