Baltimore Ravens: Free Agency 2018 Update

Here are the moves the Baltimore Ravens have made for the new league year as they have cleared some cap space with cuts and restructured contracts to make a few signings in free agency.

All free agent moves from all the NFL teams can be followed in the Live Signing Tracker post down below, including some of the Baltimore Ravens signings and cuts. I still expect to make a few more moves on offense before the NFL Draft in April. The tracker is for the first week of the Free Agency Period.

NFL Free Agency 2018: Live Signing Tracker

All Baltimore Ravens transactions since March 6th, 2018 ( Franchise Tag Deadline) to March 18th (Currently in the NFL Free Agency Period).

March 6th

Brent Urban

The Baltimore Ravens started off March with bringing back Brent Urban, a defensive end that showed some flashes last year before his lisfranc injury. Keeping the defensive line intact will be essential as the former unrestricted free agent was the starter last year that can make an impact against the run when healthy. Urban was brought back on a 1-year prove it deal and was worth extending this year.

March 12th

The longtime defensive back for the Baltimore Ravens was cut to save around $1.75 million in cap space, according to Spotrac, for the 2nd season in a row and was primarily used as depth in 2017. Ladarius Webb was a former Ravens as he was drafted by them in 2009 and has been a great mid-round gem, playing cornerback to safety in his 9-year career with Baltimore.

James Hurst

Playing offensive guard really helped James Hurst find a position he was efficient at on the offensive line, as he was below average at left tackle for the Ravens till he was converted to left guard last year. With the ability to play guard or tackle, Hurst was valuable for the Ravens to keep he could start at left guard again if Nico Siragusa does not play well coming off a serious knee injury last year as a rookie. Even though Baltimore will most likely draft more offensive lineman in April, having depth is never a bad thing behind the starter at left guard or behind Marshal Yanda, also coming back from injury.

March 13th

Brandon Carr

The Baltimore Ravens were smart to keep Brandon Carr for another year, as he started off last season as a bridge cornerback for Marlon Humphrey and had a good statistical season but due to Jimmy Smith coming off another injury (Achilles), Carr could start as a reliable cornerback till Smith is ready to go. If not, his locker room presence as a veteran and depth at cornerback is needed whether the Ravens add any more young cornerbacks in 2018 through the draft.

Austin Howard

Austin Howard played better than expected as a late pickup before the 2017 season as a starter at right tackle. Nonetheless, the Ravens look to get younger on the offensive line. His release freed up $3 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. Alex Lewis or a rookie right tackle looks to fill that role in 2018. Howard was worth the one-year pickup. Due to cap issues, however, it was not worth picking up his option. Despite his play in 2017.

 

John Brown

The Baltimore Ravens finally brought in a pass catcher for the offense and Joe Flacco that fits his strengths in John Brown. Brown, if he stays healthy, can be a productive deep threat. Afterall, he did eclipse 1,000 yards and 50 catches in 2015. The former Arizona Cardinals receiver will be a good complementary receiver. He comes on a cheap one-year deal. The only issue, he has dealt with multiple injuries, especially in the past 2 years.

March 13th – 17th

Danny Woodhead

The release of Danny Woodhead gave the Baltimore Ravens around $1.8 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. In fact, a few days after his release; Woodhead announced his retirement from the NFL. Woodhead never stayed healthy enough to make an impact. When he was on the field, he was not as productive in the passing game as Ravens fans all thought. The 9-year veteran was supposed to mesh well with the Ravens offense. It just never worked out in 2017.

March 14th

Alex Collins

The biggest takeaways from the Ravens tendering their exclusive free agents are that Alex Collins is back on the team. He is the likely starter at RB. Matt Skura is likely to play center next year as depth or as the starter with the departure of Ryan Jensen and depending what Baltimore does during the draft. Patrick Onwuasor will be depth at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley. However, the Ravens need a coverage linebacker next to him starting. The rest of the 7 players should be depth or special teams players at receiver, tight end, offensive line, and cornerback.

Jeremy Maclin

Whether it was injuries or just a lack of communication between Joe Flacco, Jeremy Maclin never clicked in the Ravens offense. He had the worst statistical season of his career. Maclin was never the chain-mover most Ravens expected when the team signed him before the 2017 season. Hence, Maclin’s release cleared $5 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. This was a necessary move to shake up the wide receiver group in 2018.

March 15th

Brandon Williams

The Ravens restructured Brandon Williams contract. Thus freeing up around $5.63 million in cap space. Further helping give Baltimore more freedom to make some potential moves in free agency on offense. When he was injured, there was a noticeable difference in the run defense. He is a valuable piece on the defensive line. Williams was signed last year but due to cap issues, I expect some more contract talks with the other veterans on the team. Especially to help bring in more playmakers or to re-sign guys like C.J. Mosely to a long-term deal.

Ryan Grant

*Update – Baltimore Ravens will not sign WR Ryan Grant

Due to his failed physical (ankle injury), the Baltimore Ravens voided Ryan Grant‘s $29 million/4 – year contract. The former Washington Redskins receiver started last year but still was not productive in his career worth the contract he was initially given. He would have been more of a slot receiver with the Ravens. Additionally, he has the ability to play outside. Furthermore, he has good hands and is a nuanced route runner. The Indianapolis Colts recently passed Grant on his physical but he has not signed with a team. His next visit is with the Oakland Raiders.

March 16th

Michael Crabtree

When the Oakland Raiders cut Michael Crabtree, it seemed like he was going to be a Baltimore Raven when he visited them on 3/16. He is coming off his worst statically season. However, he is the type of receiver the Ravens offense lacked last year and would be the jump ball receiver Joe Flacco needs to succeed, especially in the red zone. Crabtree’s deal was less than the one offered to Ryan Grant before his failed physical. Nonetheless, he is well worth it due to his history of production and is a better player than Jeremy Maclin, who the Ravens signed last year as a veteran receiver then cut one year later.

Ryan Jensen

The Baltimore Ravens lost a starter on the offensive line in Ryan Jensen. He is now the highest paid center in the NFL. It was tough to prevent Jensen from leaving with other teams offering more money instead of Baltimore. Matt Skura or a rookie center should replace him in 2018.

 

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Andrew Kim

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