Ravens Reportedly Among Teams Interested in Jamal Adams
Before last season's trade deadline, the Ravens reportedly were "actively going after" New York Jets safety Jamal Adams.
Fast forward seven months, and the interest may still be there.
New York Daily News NFL columnist Gary Myers told ESPN Radio San Antonio on Friday that the Ravens are reportedly among the teams interested in trading for the All-Pro safety.
"The other team heard pretty strong today was the Ravens, and that makes a lot of sense," Myers said. "... He would fit in perfectly there."
Adams has two years left on his rookie contract but is reportedly looking for a long-term extension. According to The Athletic's Connor Hughes, the Jets are willing to make Adams the "league's highest-paid safety," but not as soon as he wants.
"[General Manager Joe] Douglas said during the NFL Draft that he planned to ramp up talks with Adams after he finished undrafted free agency," Hughes wrote. "And he has. The two sides have talked. But during those discussions — none of which included any legitimate conversations about potential financial figures of a deal — Douglas let Adams' camp know he prefers to wait on an extension. It's highly unlikely one comes during this offseason. In all likelihood, one will not come before Week 1."
The Ravens aren't reportedly the only team interested. Myers reported the Dallas Cowboys are "seriously in play," with the asking price a first-round pick and third-round pick.
On Instagram Live with former Raven Tony Jefferson, Adams praised Baltimore's defense.
"You fit what they do," Jefferson said.
"They've got a hell of a culture because it's all about defense," Adams responded. "That's rare."
There's no questioning Adams' talent, but how would he fit on the Ravens' roster? They already have significant capital invested at safety with Chuck Clark and Earl Thomas III.
If these reports are centered around a contract dispute, would the Ravens have the salary cap space to sign Adams to an extension? Key pieces like Ronnie Stanley and Marlon Humphrey are also due for new contracts soon.
"When you take all these factors into account, it simply is too much to work around to make that splash move for Adams," Ebony Bird's Richard Bradshaw wrote. "Yes, he's one of the best defenders in the league, but Baltimore already has arguably the best secondary in the league without him even there."
Schrager: Ravens' Defense is 'Must-See TV' in 2020
Speaking of defense, NFL Network's Peter Schrager is anxious to watch what's being built in Baltimore.
The "Good Morning Football" host said the Ravens' defense will be "must-see TV."
"It's an underrated unit," Schrager said. "They added so much in the draft and in free agency. You add Calais Campbell to one of the best defensive fronts in all of football, and you suddenly have an absolute monster who can be the leader in the room. … In the first round, they don't have to trade up. They don't have to make any major moves, and they get … the best linebacker in the draft [in] Patrick Queen."
The Ravens finished last season ranked fifth against the run (93.4 yards per game) and sixth against the pass (207.2 yards per game). Despite losing Michael Pierce, Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor in free agency, they outweighed their losses with bigger additions.
Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale's imaginative schemes should be enough to turn on the television. The Ravens were one of the most creative units last season. Now Martindale has even more young and veteran talent to work with.
Recently re-signed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee expressed his excitement playing another season in Baltimore on "The Lounge" podcast.
"With the addition of [Derek] Wolfe and big boy, Campbell, it's going to be scary," McPhee said. "I'm fired up about all the additions. I can't lie about that."
Trade for Jackson One of Most Impactful of the Last Decade
Ozzie Newsome's last draft as general manager changed the entire trajectory of the franchise and left the Ravens with their franchise quarterback.
The Ravens' trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to move back into the first round of the 2018 draft to select Jackson was ranked by Bleacher Report as one of the most impactful trades of the last decade.
"The 2018 draft-night trade between the Ravens and Eagles still looks as close to a win-win as you'll get," BR's Brad Gagon wrote. "The deal enabled the Ravens to use the first round's final selection on Jackson while giving the quarterback-happy Eagles more capital in order to further support Carson Wentz.
"The Ravens grabbed Jackson, who in every world imaginable is worth two second-round picks and a slight slide in the fourth round (regardless of what they get from fourth-round selection Jaleel Scott). ... The prevailing thought at the time was that it was well worth it for Baltimore to roll the dice on Jackson, and that certainly hasn't changed. But the Eagles also made out well here."
The Eagles ended up taking tight end Dallas Goedert in the second round in 2018 and running back Miles Sanders with the extra second-round pick in 2019. Gagon gave both teams A-plus grades, but it's clear the Ravens have seen the bigger return in two seasons.
I'm sure if you ask Newsome and the front office, they'd make the same trade again, no question. Jackson is the reigning MVP, and the value of the position is huge. That's why six of the nine trades on this list involved quarterbacks.
You Can Bet (Literally) on a Ravens' Undefeated Season
Regular seasons don't get much better than what the Ravens did in 2019. If you're confident they can do even better this year, now you can bet on it.
DraftKings Sportsbook is posting odds for six teams to go 16-0 in the regular season in 2020. The Ravens have the second-best odds (+3000) behind the Kansas City Chiefs.
DraftKings identified the five easiest regular season matchups for the Ravens:
Week 4: at Washington Redskins
Week 5: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 15: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16: vs. New York Giants
Week 17: at Cincinnati Bengals
"Facing the Bengals twice is helpful while Washington and Jacksonville are odds on favorites to be the worst teams in the league this year," DK wrote. "The Giants have a chance to improve this year, but going into Baltimore doesn't have much hope attached."
If you're going to make a bet on any team, the odds are stacked against you. Since the NFL implemented a 16-game schedule, the 2007 New England Patriots are the only team to finish with an undefeated regular season.
The Ravens will have the easiest strength of schedule based on their opponents' records last season, but that's not always the best indicator.
"I don't see that as being the best determinant," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec said in a recent Q&A. "Every year, three or four teams which were good last year stink the following year. And 3 or 4 teams which stunk last year are good the following year. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals all should be improved next year, especially if [Ben] Roethlisberger is healthy … So I think right there, you have six division games which will be tougher than last year.
"I do think two aspects of [the] Ravens' schedule will really help them: One, they just don't have to travel much. That's a big deal in terms of staying on routine, avoiding fatigue, maintaining preparation and all that. And two, they don't play anybody coming off a bye. That helps a lot, too."
Why Jackson's Development as a Passer Shouldn't Be a Problem
After breaking Michael Vick's single-season quarterback rushing record, it's no secret Jackson's most unique weapon is his feet. But could his development as a passer be a problem down the road?
BR's Kristopher Knox identified it as the Ravens' biggest potential distraction this season.
"Veering too hard away from the run could be a mistake," Knox wrote. "While Jackson should focus on his growth as a passer – because every young signal-caller should – he and the Ravens cannot become consumed with trying to prove that he can win as a stationary pocket passer. Doing so could become a distraction that takes away from a potentially special season in Baltimore."
It wouldn't be surprising to see Jackson run the ball less, as Jackson predicted himself. He's a threat with his legs, but the Ravens also added second-round pick J.K. Dobbins to beef up the run game. Still, the Ravens will utilize Jackson's special talent.
With that said, Jackson will continue to get every opportunity to grow as a passer, and made significant strides already last season.
According to Pro Football Focus, he led the league in passing touchdowns from the pocket, while leading the NFL in touchdown passes. He was at the top of most major statistical categories for quarterbacks and posted the sixth-best quarterback rating in NFL history.
- The staff at Baltimore Beatdown took an early look at the roster bubble battles.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster is already talking smack ahead of the Thanksgiving night matchup. [Good Morning Football]
- Robert Griffin III is spending time this offseason with Merging Vets and Players' charity initiative by reading books to children. [Bleacher Report]