Ravens Overcame Lost Key Free Agents In Past


It didn't even take an hour into the new league season for the Ravens to start losing free agents.

Outside linebacker Paul Kruger signed a five-year deal with the Browns soon after free agency opened. About an hour later, Dannell Ellerbe reached a deal with the Miami Dolphins. Other starters like Ed Reed and Cary Williams could also end up signing with other teams in the coming days.

Replacing players is part of life in the NFL, and the Ravens have proven critically adept at that in recent years.

They have parted ways with veterans and seen talented players go elsewhere to seek bigger paychecks and, but have been able to replace them with young developing players, the draft and shrewd free agency singings.

Here's a look at some of the players the Ravens have lost and successfully replaced in recent offseasons:

Guard Ben Grubbs, New Orleans SaintsThe Pro Bowler was one of the Ravens'best offensive linemen and is regarded as one of the top guards in the game. The Ravens made a push to keep him last offseason, but he ended up getting a deal reportedly worth $36 million from the Saints. Grubbs went on to start every game for the Saints and played at a high level. The Ravens replaced him with a rotation of linemen, and the line came together with rookie Kelechi Osemele (second-round draft pick) taking over the position in the playoffs to protect quarterback Joe Flacco on his historic postseason run.

Jarret Johnson, San Diego ChargersThe veteran outside linebacker headed west to San Diego after spending nine seasons with the Ravens and starting 130 straight games. He was a leader and a critical piece of the Ravens defense, and his departure was viewed as a key loss at the time. The Ravens ended up drafting Courtney Upshaw and rotated him with Kruger to replace Johnson in the lineup. 

Defensive end Cory Redding, Indianapolis Colts
The veteran lineman went with Chuck Pagano to Indianapolis after spending two seasons as a starter with the Ravens. He was a run stuffer and leader during his time in Baltimore, but then he signed a reported three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Colts. When Redding left, the Ravens turned to Arthur Jones (three-year veteran) and Pernell McPhee (two years) and they ended up stepping into productive roles.

Bart Scott, New York Jets
The inside linebacker signed a reported six-year, $48 million deal with the Jets heading into the 2009 season. The Ravens didn't match the offer, and instead opted to go with young undrafted players like Ellerbe and Jameel McClain, who both emerged as quality starters.

Dawan Landry, Jackson JaguarsThe Ravens lost the hard-hitting safety to the Jaguars after the 2010 season when he signed a five-year deal reportedly worth $27 million.  He started every game for the last two seasons in Jacksonville, but didn't live up to the big contract and the Jaguars cut him last week. The Ravens ended up signing free agent Bernard Pollard to replace him, and grew into one of the team's top defenders and a leader in the locker room.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content