Baltimore Raven Free Agency Update

Baltimore Ravens: Free Agency Update Part 2

The Baltimore Ravens are still active in free agency as they signed Robert Griffin III, are interested in a few wide receivers on the market, and a couple former players signed with other teams.

Cleveland Browns RG3

Here are some of the moves the Baltimore Ravens made during the first week of NFL Free Agency. The rest of the moves since then will be mentioned here starting from March 22nd. I expect the Baltimore Ravens to continue this pattern till Draft day. The NFL Draft is only a few weeks away.

March 22

Baltimore Ravens Mike Wallace

After the Philadelphia Eagles traded away wide receiver Torrey Smith for cornerback Daryl Worley from the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles needed a deep threat with Alshon Jeffery on the outside and Nelson Agholor in the slot. Veteran Wide Receiver Mike Wallace will fill in for Smith on the outside nicely on a one year deal with Mack Hollins as depth. The former Baltimore Raven had a down year as he missed 2 games due to a concussion but only had 52 catches for 748 yards with 4 touchdowns as Joe Flacco was out of sync on the deep ball all year.

March 28

Baltimore Ravens Benjamin Watson

As the leading receiver for the Baltimore Ravens in 2017, Benjamin Watson started in 12 games. He finished the season with 61 catches for 522 yards and 4 touchdowns coming off a torn Achilles in 2016. The veteran tight end is back with the New Orleans Saints on a one year deal. He will offer more help at tight end for Drew Brees along with Coby Fleener and Josh Hill. Losing The former Baltimore Raven gives the Ravens a more pressing need for a young tight end early in the NFL Draft since they have not addressed it so far in free agency.

Minnesota Vikings Michael Floyd

The Baltimore Ravens tried out restricted free agent Willie Snead along with Michael Floyd. Indeed, the Baltimore Ravens continue to look for more pass catchers for Joe Flacco. They added Michael Crabtree and John Brown so far in free agency. Nevertheless, they do not look like they are done. Consequently, they are doing their due diligence before the NFL Draft. Willie Snead visited Baltimore a week before this tryout with Cameron Meredith. The Ravens have an interest in both of them. I posted an article about their visit a few weeks ago here. Michael Floyd started one game for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. The league suspended Floyd for the first 4 games for 2017.

April 4

After the New England Patriots traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a 6th round pick for the Los Angeles Rams 1st round pick in 2018, they also signed former Ravens offensive lineman Luke Bowanko.  The Jacksonville Jaguars originally traded him to the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. The Ravens signed Bowanko for depth. He started for the Ravens mostly at offensive guard but some at offensive tackle. The former Baltimore Raven could also play center as well as he was mostly a backup in 2017 but started one game as the Ravens have offensive lineman like Matt Skura, James Hurst, and Alex Lewis potentially starting next year and they will need to add some talent at offensive guard, tackle, and/or center in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The signing of Robert Griffin III was surprising since he has been out of the league for a year. Although, there was interest from the Baltimore Raven in signing him last year. With Ryan Mallett out of Baltimore as the backup quarterback, there was a need for a veteran. Josh Woodrum showed some things in the preseason last year. Nonetheless, he has been mostly on the practice squad for the Ravens and other teams before.

Griffin III is injury prone and is definitely not the same player he was with the Washington Redskins but his last game with the Cleveland Browns was not bad so it’s more of an insurance signing behind Joe Flacco then anything else.

Since it’s a minimal deal for a quarterback for only one year, it is a low-risk deal. He will compete with Woodrum and whatever quarterback the Ravens draft in April. Thus, I am coming around to the signing. Griffin III was not bad with short passes in his career. Therefore, he does fit what the Baltimore Ravens offense emphasizes. In fact, he is ultimately better than what the Ravens had last year at backup quarterback in Mallett.

April 5

Eric Decker makes an interesting fit in the slot for the Ravens. He would be the 3rd option with Michael Crabtree and John Brown on the outside. Decker would be another veteran receiver the Ravens would consider adding. While I would rather add one or two more receivers in the draft, this does diminish the need down to one rookie receiver definitely. Also, it would add more veteran experience. There was interest last year with Decker and the Ravens before they signed Jeremy Maclin instead and Decker only started 8 games for the Tennesee Titans, catching 54 passes for 563 yards and one touchdown. If the Ravens add Decker and a rookie receiver early in the draft, I would have satisfaction with the wide receiver group heading into 2018.

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