Mailbag: More Moves Coming for Ravens?

032020_Mailbag

In order to practice responsible social distancing, Garrett Downing and Ryan Mink are not recording Mailbag together from Downing's basement … but we're still answering your questions!

Here's this week's (written and extended) Mailbag:

Mink: I'm no salary-cap expert, but I would recommend following Russell Street Report's Brian McFarland, who is extremely tuned into these issues. He estimates that after all the reported signings and Sam Koch's two-year extension are factored in, the Ravens will have about $10 million in salary-cap space. There are also some other ways to free up more space if needed.

So, yes, there is enough money to make another signing, but I don't expect another "big" one. The Ravens would probably prefer to go into the draft with another inside linebacker on the roster (Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor are both on the market) and may want to add a veteran guard too after the Marshal Yanda retirement. They still need money to sign draft picks, restricted free agents, and have money left to roll into the season.

Downing: Yes, I think the sack numbers will increase in big way with Campbell in the middle of the defense, both overall and with four-man pressures. His ability to get interior pass rush is something the Ravens have lacked in recent years, and he has a proven track record for getting after the quarterback. Campbell put up 31.5 sacks over the last three years in Jacksonville. While Raven Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale loves to bring pressure, I'm sure he has a big smile on his face knowing how Campbell will bring a big improvement to the four-man rush.

Mink: With more draft ammunition (the second-round pick from the Hayden Hurst trade and third-round and fourth-round compensatory pick), Eric DeCosta has a lot of flexibility to move around the draft. This year, I would expect that a trade-up is more likely than moving back to get more picks. The Ravens don't have many holes and if they feel like a player they really covet falls into striking distance (but won't make it to No. 28), they have the ability to go up. I wouldn't expect a huge leap though. The Steelers leapt 10 spots last year to get inside linebacker Devin Bush, which worked out pretty well. Could Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray or LSU's Patrick Queen be a target?

Downing: I think the draft is the better bet to add another offensive playmaker. Like Mink detailed above, the Ravens don't have a ton of cap space at their disposal, so it would be tough to find an offensive playmaker with what they have left. Plus, this year's draft class is considered the deepest receiver group in recent memory, so they Ravens will have their opportunities to snag a playmaking rookie.

Mink: The Ravens would still like to re-sign Judon to a long-term deal, but it takes two to tango. We don't know what Judon and his agent are asking for, nor what the Ravens' ceiling is. So far, they clearly haven't been close enough to get a deal done. It wouldn't be surprising to see Judon play out his franchise tag year at about $16 million and see this re-addressed next offseason.

Downing: Antonio Brown's talent is undeniable. The Ravens know that first-hand from going against him for his nine seasons in Pittsburgh. But this would not purely be a football decision given Brown's issues off the field and accusations of domestic violence. He quickly wore out his welcome in Oakland last summer and then was released by the Patriots after just one game because of off-the-field allegations. Brown is a great player, but given the issues off the field, it would be surprising to see him end up in Baltimore.

Mink: I don't think Mark Ingram II is going anywhere. His contract is a bargain for the kind of impact he has on this team, both from his Pro Bowl production and leadership. I still doubt the Ravens go with a first-round running back, but they also drafted Todd Heap in the first round in 2001 when they still had Shannon Sharpe on the roster. Maybe they could view D'Andre Swift as a long-term answer who could learn from, and back up, Ingram in his rookie year.

Downing: Maybe both. They have to replace Yanda, and that won't be an easy task. A veteran guard could help fill the void, but I also fully expect the Ravens to draft at least one offensive lineman. DeCosta already said at the Combine that he expects to draft a lineman at some point. I could see the Ravens adding a veteran guard in the second or third wave of free agency, and then continuing to add competition to the line through the draft.

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