Fowler: Ravens Involved in Free Agent Quarterback Market
It remains unknown what will happen with Lamar Jackson now that he's able to negotiate with other teams.
With that in mind, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported yesterday that the Ravens "have been involved in the free agent quarterback market."
The two quarterbacks Fowler mentioned are expected to land elsewhere, as Brissett will reportedly sign with the Washington Commanders on a one-year, $10 million deal and Mayfield will go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million. On both squads, they'll have a chance to compete for the starting job.
In Baltimore, Jackson would be the clear starter if he returns. Tyler Huntley has been Jackson's backup for the past two-plus seasons, but he now also could land elsewhere as the Ravens reportedly placed a right of first refusal tender on the restricted free agent.
Other veteran free agent quarterbacks still available include Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Joe Flacco, Chase Daniel, andGardner Minshew.
Colts Reportedly Considering Pursuing Jackson
The window for teams to negotiate with Jackson opened yesterday, but only a few teams appear to be logical suitors. The most obvious candidate to pursue Jackson is the Indianapolis Colts, and they reportedly are considering it.
Considering the Colts' recent cost-cutting moves — including the release of Ryan — it's not hard to buy into the notion that Indianapolis is eyeing Jackson. The Colts have $25.8 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com.
"They've already been leapfrogged in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Panthers, who traded with the Bears for the No. 1 overall selection. And with Houston picking second, Arizona drafting third and Indianapolis going fourth, the Colts could have the third choice, at best, of rookie quarterbacks in April," NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal wrote. "If there is a team to surprisingly jump into the mix for Lamar Jackson, Indy makes the most sense."
After the release of Ryan, the Colts have two quarterbacks on their roster: veteran Nick Foles and 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger.
"They have not had a franchise-caliber quarterback since Andrew Luck announced his sudden retirement in 2019, relying on one-year stopgaps such as Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Ryan," The Baltimore Sun’s Brian Wacker wrote. "Indianapolis also owns the No. 4 pick in this year's draft, which it could use for a quarterback — if it believes one of the top four is worthy of leading the franchise. But the city that once swiped Baltimore's NFL team in the middle of the night is now the team best situated to steal its superstar quarterback and 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player."
If Jackson ends up signing an offer sheet with the Colts or any other team, the Ravens would have five days to match. If Baltimore chose not to match the offer, it would receive two first-round picks from the team. The Colts own the fourth-overall pick this year.
Darius Slay to Baltimore Was a Fleeting Thought
With the free agency frenzy in full swing, no one was more of an agent of chaos yesterday than five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, and the Ravens played a peripheral role in the drama.
Yesterday morning it was reported that the Eagles were planning to release Slay, who tweeted his goodbye to Philadelphia.
It didn't take long for speculation to begin about potential landing spots for Slay. Not surprisingly, the Ravens, who have a need at cornerback, made the list.
A Twitter exchange between Marlon Humphrey and Slay prompted Pro Football Focus to ponder the possibility of Slay heading to Baltimore.
Not so fast. Late last night, Slay's wife, Jennifer, sent a tweet indicating that her husband wasn't going anywhere. Minutes later, Slay himself confirmed it.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that the Eagles and Slay had been in discussions all day to find a solution for him to remain with the team. And Humphrey was forced to issue a retraction of sorts.
Reaction to Orlando Brown Jr. Going to Bengals
Former Ravens left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is headed back to the AFC North, reportedly agreeing to a four-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals worth $64 million, including an offensive-line record $31 million signing bonus.
That obviously means the Ravens will see Brown, who will be protecting Joe Burrow's blind side, two times a season. It also means he could be lining up across edge rusher Odafe Oweh, the player the Ravens drafted in 2021 with the first-round pick they received from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Brown.
Brown clearly showed he still has a chip on his shoulder, which likely grew when ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that teams around the league view Brown as a right tackle more than a left tackle.
Ravens Will Likely Try to Re-Sign Non-Tendered Players
With Huntley reportedly the only player among the Ravens' six restricted free agents to be tendered yesterday, center Trystan Colon, safety Geno Stone, long snapper Nick Moore, and linebackers Del'Shawn Phillips and Kristian Welch are free to sign elsewhere.
The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec said the Ravens will almost certainly try to re-sign most, if not all, of the players to reduced contracts, but they could have competition for some of them.
"Colon and Stone could easily garner interest as potential starters from other teams," Zrebiec wrote. "The Ravens are regarded as a special teams factory, and Moore has already attracted interest from some long-snapping-needy teams. If the Ravens can't re-sign Stone, they probably will have to add safety to their list of needs since they're trading Chuck Clark. They'll also need to find a long snapper if Moore bolts."