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Late for Work: Ravens Are 'Perfect Fit' for All-Pro Safety

Safety Justin Simmons (31) celebrates against the Cleveland Browns of an NFL football game Sunday November 26, 2023, in Denver.
Safety Justin Simmons (31) celebrates against the Cleveland Browns of an NFL football game Sunday November 26, 2023, in Denver.

Pundit Pairs Ravens with All-Pro Safety Justin Simmons

The Ravens are in the market for a third safety, evidenced by having Jamal Adams visit last week. But Last Word on Sports’ David Latham sees a different player being an ideal fit: four-time second team All-Pro Justin Simmons.

"Justin Simmons is looking for the perfect fit from both a scheme and financial standpoint, and the Baltimore Ravens might be the ideal landing spot," Latham wrote. "The team already has two above-average starters in Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams, but they should find a proper replacement for Geno Stone."

To Latham, Simmons is a superior replacement for Stone than Adams on account of Simmons' skillset skewing more toward traditional safety coverage. He also has a knack for generating takeaways, notching 30 career interceptions, with 14 in the past three seasons.

What may be the challenge is affording Simmons, who is coming off his third straight All-Pro season. He'll be turning 31 in November and could be looking to cash in with a sizable contract. The Ravens, according to, have $5.7 million in cap space, which could leave them out of the running.

But if Simmons' priorities lean toward contending for a championship, the Ravens may be at the top of the list.

Jalyn Armour-Davis Shouldn't Be Forgotten in Cornerback Equation

While the Ravens can never have enough cornerbacks, they're starting to find an upper limit after drafting 2024 first- and fourth-round picks Nate Wiggins and T.J. Tampa, respectively. But during the first week of OTAs, The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec noted it was Jalyn Armour-Davis earning significant snaps.

"There's a long way to go, and as always for Armour-Davis, staying healthy will be key. However, Armour-Davis has appeared to be in good form this week. He's moving well and playing with confidence," Zrebiec wrote. "He had an interception on Thursday and provided tight coverage on several other plays while getting a ton of reps with Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Stephens and [Arthur] Maulet all not practicing."

And while the workouts in May aren't make-or-break, Zrebiec sees Armour-Davis starting off on the right foot.

"In general, what happens in OTAs is largely overblown," Zrebiec wrote. "However, for a guy like Armour-Davis, who has had a hard-luck tenure with the Ravens, stringing together a few strong practices is notable as he accelerates a roster push."

O-Line Named Reason Ravens Could Lose AFC North Division Race

Until proven otherwise, which won't occur until August or later, pundits will continue haranguing the Ravens' offensive line. The losses were known commodities; the current replacements are young and unknown talents, leaving Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton to cite pass protection as the "x-factor" in whether the Ravens will win or lose the AFC North this season.

"Jackson has the playmakers in All-Pro/Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews and electric wide receiver Zay Flowers, but the Baltimore Ravens offensive line will feature three new starters," Moton wrote. "… Baltimore could use inexperienced replacements to fill those voids. Andrew Vorhees and Ben Cleveland will compete for the open guard spots. Vorhees missed his entire rookie campaign while recovering from a torn ACL, and Cleveland has only started in seven games through three seasons. Rookie second-rounder Roger Rosengarten will likely compete with Daniel Faalele for the right tackle spot. The latter has started in one NFL outing."

Moton's doubts even extend to veteran left tackle Ronnie Stanley, citing his bouts with injuries. He combined all these concerns with the viral news regarding Lamar Jackson’s weight.

"Jackson slimmed down to his rookie weight of 205 pounds, which should make the coaching staff a bit uneasy with a makeshift offensive line," Moton wrote. "If the Ravens struggle to protect him, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers could dominate Baltimore with defenses that finished within the top 11 in pressure rate last season."’s Kevin Patra shares similar concerns but acknowledged it's far too early to judge.

"It's foolhardy to judge a Ravens roster until much closer to the start of the season. No one does a better job of continuing to find cheap, capable talent deep into the process than Baltimore's front office," Patra wrote. "If one area stands out as a question mark at this stage, it's the offensive line, where the right tackle job and both guard spots appear up for grabs. Andrew Vorhees, who sat out his rookie season with an injury, and Ben Cleveland (seven starts in three years) are currently in line for the guard spots. Second-round pick Roger Rosengarten could start at right tackle. Josh Jones, who can play guard and tackle, could swipe one of the starting spots or play a swing role. Even if some of these options prove viable, the depth is a concern. If Ronnie Stanley, who hasn't played more than 13 games in a season since 2019, goes down, things could get dire. GM Eric DeCosta should add veteran help before Week 1."

Early Predictions Have Ravens Exercising Fifth-Year Options on Both 2022 First-Round Picks

The Ravens hit on not one, but two first-round picks in 2022 with safety Kyle Hamilton and center Tyler Linderbaum.

Next May, teams will get the chance to exercise the fifth-year options on the first-rounders, and Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame gave his early projections on the matter. In all, Verderame projects 19 players getting the fully guaranteed fifth year of their contracts, including both Ravens picks.

"The Ravens had a pair of first-round picks in the 2022 draft, and they didn't waste them," Verderame wrote. "Hamilton has a strong argument as the league's best safety having earned first-team All-Pro honors last season, while Linderbaum was named to the Pro Bowl in '23."

How much both players would earn if the Ravens exercised their fifth-year option has to do with their performance in 2024. Both Hamilton and Linderbaum were voted to the 2023 Pro Bowl, which automatically brought their contracts to the second-highest tier and will make their contracts eligible for a fifth-year base salary equal to the transition tender at their position. If they were to repeat as original ballot Pro Bowlers in 2024, they then are eligible for the highest tier, equal to the franchise tender at their position, according to

For Hamilton, early 2025 projections for the transition (current tier) and franchise tag (possible tier) at safety are $15 million and $18.78 million, respectively. For Linderbaum, it's $22.35 million and $24.72 million, respectively, as tags for offensive line are under a single umbrella rather than five separate positions.

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