Ravens Reportedly Showing Interest in Safety Tyrann Mathieu
In the opening days of free agency, the Ravens were reportedly interested in safety Tyrann Mathieu. After signing safety Marcus Williams to a five-year deal, many assumed the Ravens were out of the market for the former Chief. But according to a report, the Ravens are still in on 'The Honey Badger.'
Even after the signing of Williams and with safety Chuck Clark under contract, the Ravens may covet Mathieu's flexibility as a defender.
Mathieu recently spoke for the first time since free agency opened and shared what he's looking for in his next team.
"From a leadership perspective, obviously you want to be part of a good group of guys," Mathieu said on The Jordy Culotta Show. "You want to be able to work well with these guys … Then you want to win, man. It's all about being able to compete."
Lamar Jackson is another reason Mathieu would be interested in the Ravens, as Mathieu agreed with Culotta that competitive teams in the NFL start with a good quarterback.
Our own Clifton Brown considered him a good fit for the Ravens prior to the signing of Williams.
"I like the player, I like the fit. I think this is the type of place [Mathieu] will consider," Brown said. "At this stage of his career, wanting to win Super Bowls, there's places he won't be interested in and that might help the Ravens."
Ravens Players Express Disappointment After Bobby Wagner Signs With Rams
Over the past week, excitement bubbled as the Ravens brought in eight-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner for a visit and made a 'very competitive offer.' However, Wagner signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
When news broke of Wagner's signing, Ravens players showed their displeasure on Twitter.
With the Ravens no longer landing Wagner, their attention and cap space can now be directed elsewhere. Ravenswire's Kevin Oestreicher sees them still pursuing a player on defense.
"Wagner would have fit in nicely on Baltimore's defense, but instead the team will now have to pivot to other free agents on the market," Oestreicher wrote. "Some of those names include cornerback Stephon Gilmore, safety Tyrann Mathieu and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney."
Where the Ravens Rank in the Latest Power Rankings
The NFL landscape was shaken up with big moves made throughout the first two weeks of free agency, but things appear to be settling down and media outlets have begun taking stock and offering their post-free agency power rankings. With such an influx of talent in the AFC, the Ravens look to be the one slept on as they fell out of the top 10 in most rankings.
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus: "No. 15 - We imagine the Ravens have another reason to dislike the rival Browns after Cleveland made the striking decision to trade for Deshaun Watson and then gave the quarterback a fully guaranteed $230 million contract. If Watson can command that fee with all the baggage now permanently affixed to his name, what is a former MVP like Lamar Jackson worth? The Ravens made a big splash in free agency, addressing an area of need by signing safety Marcus Williams to a rich deal. Looking ahead, the draft could pay big dividends: Baltimore has nine picks in the first four rounds. According to ESPN, it is the most picks in the first four rounds by any team in the last six years."
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley: "No. 12 - Finding a proven pass-rusher remains a huge need since Za'Darius Smith backed out of his four-year, $35 million deal on March 17 and then signed with the Vikings. The Ravens' current top two outside linebackers -- Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser -- are coming off offseason surgeries and have a combined 22.5 career sacks. It's been a void in Baltimore for a while; the team hasn't had a player reach double-digit sacks in a season since Terrell Suggs in 2017. The Ravens have to land an edge rusher who can get to the likes of Deshaun Watson and Joe Burrow."
Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr: "No. 10 - The Ravens still have some work to do on the back end of free agency and leave a slew of valued veterans on the heap while they evaluate their current roster," Orr wrote. "The big addition of Marcus Williams gives Baltimore a classic Ravens safety who can be active in blitz scenarios and also a cleanup center fielder for the errant passes their defense tends to create. One of the most important moves was not allowing versatile backfield blocker Patrick Ricard to hit the market. They enter 2022 as a realistic contender to reclaim the AFC North from the Bengals, assuming Lamar Jackson is healthy."
USA Today Nate Davis: "No. 12 - Don't forget, they were the AFC's projected No. 1 playoff seed at one point last December before the injuries and gut-wrenching losses finally overtook them. The only time newly extended coach John Harbaugh has missed successive postseasons was 2015-17."
Sportsnaut’s Matt Johnson: "No. 11 - Injuries sunk the Baltimore Ravens. Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Derek Wolfe and Ronnie Stanley are just a handful of impact starters who either missed significant time or didn't play this season. They'll be back in 2022. Now add safety Marcus Williams, the deep playmaker Baltimore lacked, and a reunion with defensive tackle Michael Pierce. That's worth moving up the NFL power rankings."
Reactions to Ravens Win Totals
Win totals were recently posted for the 2022-2023 NFL season and Vegas has put the line for the Ravens at 9.5 wins, and is favoring them to hit the over at -125. [Source] PFF's Ben Brown, however, doesn't favor the Ravens to hit the mark.
"PFF's simulation isn't overly confident in their 2022 outlook, as it believes Baltimore has a 65.18% chance to finish under its 9.5-game win total," Brown wrote. "Things would need to break perfectly for the Ravens to come out on top of a loaded AFC conference."
Even though Brown cites his affiliation's simulation not rating the Ravens highly, Brown still offered a vote of confidence.
"Baltimore looks like one of the most overlooked teams in the AFC after being decimated by injuries in 2021," Brown wrote. "The Ravens are the third-most likely team to win the AFC North and have a 56.5% implied probability of making the playoffs. They quietly put together a respectable offseason, shoring up the backend of their secondary while adding bodies to their offensive and defensive line."
Baltimore Beatdown's Frank Platko noted the Ravens nearly hit the 10-win mark during a tough 2021 season.
"Before injuries tore them apart, the Ravens won eight games in 2021, and a few games were right within their grasp. Two came down to 2-point conversions that the Ravens didn't complete," Platko wrote. "But the 9.5 line is likely a reflection of them expecting a return of said key contributors in a strong AFC. Also, while they haven't been quite as noisy as some other teams this offseason, they did make a few solid additions."