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Late for Work: Assessing the Ravens' Needs After the First Wave of Free Agency

Offensive line
Offensive line

Ravens' Remaining Needs and the Best Free Agents Remaining

The first wave of free agency has washed over the NFL and teams are now reassessing their positions of need as the draft is on the horizon.

The Ravens have made a few moves to free up cap space, re-signed one of the league's top defensive linemen and other players for depth, and crossed off their need at running back. But Baltimore has also seen many free agents leave (check out the free agency tracker).

The moves in all have the Ravens with needs at offensive line, cornerback, and edge rusher. If the Ravens plan to address those needs in free agency, multiple media members have made their lists of remaining free agents.

Offensive Line

OT Andrus Peat

Having a versatile offensive lineman has been the Ravens' knack as of late, and if they're wanting somebody that can be a boon for them at either guard or tackle, Peat could be their guy. The Athletic's Randy Mueller is high on the 30-year-old.

"Peat is a guard by trade but filled in well enough at left tackle this year that we are leaving him in the tackle group, but some might still see him as a guard," Mueller wrote. "He is strong, powerful on impact and can lock on to sustain in both the run and pass game. He's not fleet of foot but imposes his will with his frame and physical presence. He's a better player than a lot of right tackles in the league, although all of his NFL experience is on the left side."

OG Laken Tomlinson

The Ravens have multiple young players under consideration for their open left and right guard positions with Sala Aumuvae-Laulu, Andrew Vorhees and Ben Cleveland on the roster. But, if they're looking for another veteran signing Tomlinson is a possibility.

"Tomlinson, who was released by the Jets, can still be productive for a team if the price is right. He has adequate body control and balance to recover and even get out in space in the run game, and he has a strong punch and good anchor against the bull rush in pass protection," Mueller wrote. "He's also been very durable, missing just one game in his nine-year career, way back in 2017."

In a draft loaded with offensive linemen at both tackle and guard, The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec sees that as the most likely avenue – at least for now.

"The best bet for the Ravens is to grab a young tackle on either Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft and see if any upgrades shake free on the market over the next two or three months," Zrebiec wrote.


CB Stephon Gilmore

The Ravens have solid starters in Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Stephens, paired with their choice of Ar'Darius Washington and Kyle Hamilton assuming the nickel role. There's also potential for Damarion "Pepe" Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis to break out in their third year. But the Ravens have the motto "you can never have enough corners" for a while now, and Gilmore could be that for Baltimore.’s Gregg Rosenthal has Gilmore as his second-best free agent remaining.

"The best free-agent pickups in recent years have been excellent veterans willing to take one-year deals. Gilmore, still a plus starter, figures to be one of those guys this season," Rosenthal wrote. "An instant upgrade for virtually any team."

CB Steven Nelson

Veteran free agents helped solidify the Ravens' secondary last season and Nelson could be another to bring in if the price is right for both sides.

"Nelson has turned into that guy who signs a replacement-level short-term deal, stabilizes a starting cornerback spot and then has everyone wondering why he was so inexpensive in free agency in the first place," Rosenthal wrote.

Again, the Ravens are likely to address this need via the draft, but they'll need more than that.

"This feels like a year where the Ravens will take a corner with an early pick," Zrebiec wrote. "This also feels like a situation where they would benefit from having another quality veteran cornerback."

Edge Rusher

Two of the Ravens' biggest signings last season were at edge rusher, bringing in Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy. The two combined for 18.5 sacks and a 119 pressures. While the team has exciting potential in their young pass rushers Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo and Tavius Robinson, Zrebiec sees the team needing "an established eight-to-10 sack threat."

"Given the importance of the position, it makes sense to draft an edge rusher every year. The Ravens could pull the trigger as early as No. 30 if UCLA's Laiatu Latu or Missouri's Darius Robinson is available. But the Ravens really need to bring in a veteran with a track record of production," Zrebiec wrote. "Currently, Oweh is the graybeard of the group. He turned 25 three months ago and his career high in sacks is five. A veteran could provide leadership and shoulder much of the burden to produce, rather than putting that pressure on a young, unproven player."

On the free agent market, two of the best are their own unrestricted free agents. Other options include local Maryland product Chase Young, Carl Lawson, and former Raven Yannick Ngakoue.

"The Ravens want to keep Clowney, who had 9 1/2 sacks last year. But he's garnering plenty of interest and is going to be far more expensive this time around," Zrebiec wrote. "The quality after Clowney and a few other free agents goes down quickly."

If the Ravens don't land one of them, could they take a big swing via a trade?

Could Ravens Make a Move to Land Haason Reddick?

Zrebiec has another idea on where the Ravens could go at pass rusher.

"It would make sense for DeCosta to give the Philadelphia Eagles a call and see what it would take to land Haason Reddick, although the Ravens have shown little interest in absorbing meaty veteran contracts," Zrebiec wrote.

Reddick could be on the move after the Eagles landed Bryce Huff in free agency and restructured the contract of Josh Sweat.

Taking on Reddick's contract would be a challenge for the Ravens as his 2024 base salary is $14.25 million and he has void years on his contract.

Tyler Huntley Agreed to Terms with Cleveland Browns

After four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Tyler Huntley is reportedly heading to the Cleveland Browns to compete for the backup quarterback role.

Huntley, 26, was the long-time backup quarterback for Jackson. Over those four years, Huntley played in 20 games, due to Jackson dealing with injury and illness, or the team locking up the No. 1 seed before the regular season concluded.

Huntley's career in Baltimore had flashes of brilliance. He finished the 2022 preseason completing 31-of-36 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. He went score-for-score against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in 2021, where Huntley threw for 28-for-40 passing and two touchdowns, while scoring another two rushing touchdowns.

In joining Cleveland, Huntley looks to be a part of the Browns' quarterback competition, as they have Deshaun Watson, Jameis Winston and Dorian Thompson-Robinson on their roster.

Ravens Can Replace Lost Starters on the Offensive Line with Current Roster

Rebuilding the offensive line has been one of the Ravens' main priorities this offseason. Both DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh have echoed it they want to always have a big, strong, athletic offensive line.’s Todd Karpovich sees the replacements for those gone from 2023 already on the team. At guard, Karpovich sees Cleveland and Vorhees as potential starters.

"Ben Cleveland will have the opportunity to take Zeitler's spot on the right side of the line, but he will need to perform better and show up to training camp in shape," Karpovich wrote. "Andrew Vorhees, who missed last season as a rookie with a knee injury, is a wild card to take a starting job at guard after being rated the highest-rated offensive lineman in the Pac-12 each of his final two years at USC. "

At right tackle, Karpovich has Daniel Faalele getting the nod over Patrick Mekari, due to the value of Mekari's sixth-man role.

"At right tackle, the Ravens have Patrick Mekari and Daniel Faalele on the depth chart," Karpovich wrote. "The Ravens also like Mekari's versatility to play guard and center, so he could stay in the main backup role."

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