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No Dire Need, But Ravens Are Busy Talking at Trade Deadline

GM Eric DeCosta
GM Eric DeCosta

Head Coach John Harbaugh was a few minutes late for his regular 2:30 p.m. Monday press conference. He was upstairs talking with General Manager Eric DeCosta, he said.

As the NFL's trade deadline nears at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, DeCosta and the Ravens are busy talking about how they could improve their team.

Moves have already started happening, as the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore's next opponent, reportedly acquired Pro Bowl defensive tackle Leonard Williams from the New York Giants just before Harbaugh's press conference began.

The Ravens sit at 6-2, tied for the best record in the AFC and with two more victories than all three division foes. Baltimore's is about to enter a three-game homestand and has six of the final nine games on the schedule at M&T Bank Stadium.

Harbaugh said the Ravens don't have any "dire" needs, but there are different degrees of need.

"What level of need is what it comes down to," Harbaugh said. "Do we have a specific overarching have-to-have guy? No, we have an excellent roster. … I love our guys. I think we have everything we need to be successful.

"At the same time, if an opportunity came to bring in somebody that can help us and make us better in any area really, but some areas more than others, and you can do it in a way that is affordable to the team and club – cap wise and draft-pick wise – you would do it to try to get better. That's where we're at right now. Eric and his group is are working through that. … That's a possibility."

The Ravens didn't seem to have a glaring hole at inside linebacker last year when they acquired Roquan Smith from the Chicago Bears, but he instantly made a huge difference. Harbaugh called that Monday one of the Ravens' "all-time great trades."

Could "EDC" pull off a similar move this year?

According to Russell Street Report's Brian McFarland, the Ravens currently have $2.8 million in cap space, but could create around $13 million more with contract restructures and even more if they add void years. With that said, they have a lot of young players having career years in contract years that they would like to retain.

Harbaugh spoke about how it's not easy to make trades in the NFL with so many factors involved. He will be focused on preparing for the Seahawks this week and will meet with DeCosta if trade talks heat up.

"It's a possibility. It's not easy making trades in this league," Harbaugh said. "We've made a few the last few years. I think Eric has done a great job with that. If there's one to be made to help us, I'm sure he'll pull it off. If not, we'll be happy with what we have because we have a great team we feel like."

Harbaugh on OBJ: Catches Are 'Going to Pop'

Sunday's game marked just the second time in Odell Beckham Jr.'s nine-year career that he didn't have a catch in a game. The only other time was in 2020 when he played just two snaps before suffering his first torn ACL.

While he didn't crack the box score, Beckham did pressure the Cardinals into three penalties on Arizona – two for pass interference and one for defensive holding.

On the Ravens' first touchdown drive, Beckham got behind cornerback Marco Wilson and drew a 19-yard interference call that put Baltimore first-and-goal at the eight. Two plays later, Lamar Jackson found Mark Andrews for a 5-yard touchdown pass.

Then in the fourth quarter, Beckham victimized Antonio Hamilton Sr., who had already been penalized for holding Beckham in the third quarter. Beckham got behind Hamilton again, and the cornerback interfered with the Ravens' receiver in the end zone to prevent a 17-yard completion that could have been Beckham's first touchdown for the Ravens. The flag was thrown, setting up Baltimore first-and-goal at the 1, and Gus Edwards scored his third touchdown of the game on the next play.

Beckham will have to wait at least another game to score his first touchdown with Baltimore, but Harbaugh likes the veteran's ability to force defenders into mistakes.

"Odell's super talented, very determined, really has a high standard for himself, really works hard," Harbaugh said. "They know who he is. They know he's No. 3 and they do not want to give up a completion to him. He's being covered that way.

"Now Odell, and Lamar and all of us want those to be catches. But pass interference is the same as a catch in this league, almost. I was happy with the way he played. I was happy with the fact he was targeted. Then he got hit in the ribs on the sideline play, had to go out for awhile, came back in, was blocking well. He's playing really well and I just think it's going to pop. He's going to start getting some big catches for us."

Beckham showed his frustration on the sideline after the last pass interference call, but Harbaugh understands Beckham's passion.

"He really wants to be a big factor in the game," Harbaugh said. "That's what he's used to. He's a world class player, world class athlete. That's the kind of expectation he has for himself.

"I talked to him, actually. He wasn't mad at anybody. He wants to make plays."

Rashod Bateman Looks Ready to Break Out

Rashod Bateman was an impact player for Baltimore in Week 8 with two catches for 34 yards, and he also ran for 18 yards on a jet sweep to set up a second-half touchdown.

Rashod Bateman's 29-yard reception on Baltimore's first touchdown drive was one of the game's key plays, because it could have easily been an interception.

"The early catch to keep the drive alive, to go get the ball and take it away from the defender was – you're not going to see a better play than that. It was great," Harbaugh said.

On Baltimore's final touchdown drive, Bateman showed impressive speed on his jet sweep, outrunning several defenders to turn the corner. A 15-yard penalty was added onto the run after the Cardinals were penalized for hitting Bateman out of bounds.

Bateman's had a long journey back from last year's Lisfranc foot surgery, but he's played four straight games since returning from a hamstring injury and Harbaugh believes Bateman's improved health is allowing him to break out.

"It's not confidence in his ability, he's always been very confident," Harbaugh said. "It's confidence in his health. The fact he's been able to stack practices and get a feel in the offense, catch balls, and run routes and compete for balls.

"Football's a practice sport. The more you practice the better you get. The better feel you get for the game. I would say it's starting to come together for him in that way. I think the second half of the season for Rashod's going to be big."

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