Could More Texans Flock to The Ravens?

Ben Tate

When free agency begins a week from tomorrow, which players from other teams will the Ravens attempt to sign?

Daryl Smith and Eugene Monroe are the two biggest contributors from last year’s team that the Ravens would like to have back. Other players like Jacoby Jones, Arthur Jones and Corey Graham helped the team a lot but may be asking for too much money.

Jacoby Jones may be especially tough to re-sign for three reasons. First, he carried a $4.9 million cap figure last season. Second, his offensive role could be taken away in the very likely event the Ravens spend a high draft pick on a wide receiver. Third, players like Deonte Thompson, Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson have proven to be dynamic returners.

It would be nice if Jacoby Jones and Vonta Leach (who had his contract terminated last Thursday) could stay in Baltimore. They still have good football left in them and they’d be playing on an offense coordinated by their old head coach (Gary Kubiak).

Kubiak’s transition would be made easier if he was able to coach some of his old players. However in the event a Texans free agent wants to sign with the Ravens, the Ravens might not need him if they already have depth at that position.

But the question is worth asking: Are there any current Texans that would meet needs the Ravens have without breaking the bank? If so, it’s something John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome need to look into.

Of the six offensive unrestricted free agents currently on the Texans roster, I think three of them would fit well in Baltimore.

 

Greg Jones, Fullback

Age: 32

2013 stats: 2 carries, 2 yards; 5 receptions, 34 yards

2013 cap hit: $1 million

Why Ravens should explore signing him: Unless the Ravens are planning on exclusively running a one-back set, they’d do well to think about signing Jones. He won’t cost a lot and looks to initiate contact. The man is a tank.

Although it was back in his college days, this clip shows you how punishing Greg Jones’ brand of football can be.

 

Garrett Graham, Tight End

Age: 27

2013 stats: 49 receptions, 545 yards, 5 touchdowns

2013 cap hit: $750,025

Why Ravens should explore signing him: Though Dennis Pitta is now under contract for the next five years, the Ravens and Kubiak should still seek a second tight end for their offense. Ed Dickson hasn’t put up the numbers to merit a starter’s contract. As it is, he earned almost twice ($1.323 million) what Graham earned last year, so Graham would likely give Baltimore more production for comparable money.

 

Ben Tate, Running Back

Age: 25

2013 stats: 181 carries, 771 yards, 4 touchdowns; 34 receptions, 140 yards

2013 cap hit: $899,250

Why Ravens should explore signing him: It’s no secret the Ravens want to add running back depth. Look at their roster. Who is capable of playing well for extended time besides Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce? They brought in Bernard Scott and Shaun Draughn last season to alleviate the pressure on Rice and Pierce, but Scott and Draughn only totaled eight carries for 16 yards.

Besides the fact that Tate played his high school football in Maryland, he played well in Kubiak’s offense over the past three years. Even though he played behind one of the best running backs in the league (Arian Foster), Tate still averaged 4.7 yards per carry and 4.9 yards per reception as a Texan.

Of the available Texans, signing Tate makes the most sense for the Ravens. They’d be signing a young player that fits a need, won’t demand a lot of money and is familiar with the area.

But most importantly he has produced in Kubiak’s offense.

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About Mike Fast

Mike Fast
I was born and raised in Baltimore. But after a year at York College of Pennsylvania, I transferred to Towson University. At York and Towson, I hosted various radio shows, wrote for the school paper, spoke on a panel RE: college game day presentation at IBS conference in Manhattan and...more

9 Raves on “Could More Texans Flock to The Ravens?

  1. Joe on said:

    The problem with Tate is he’s the top RB on the market. Some team that needs a RB to start or time-share that has more cap space than we do can give him a bigger deal. With Rice already having a large deal at RB, don’t quite see us being able to win him over.

  2. John P on said:

    This article doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. You’ve got a 32-year old fullback with a highlight reel from college. It would seem to make a whole lot more sense to see what Juice does this spring, and then bring back Leech (who would probably command similar money given his age and condition) if that fails.

    Garrett Graham had good number, but if we think he’s better than Dickson (and I do), so will everyone else. Which means he’ll command more money than Dickson, or will be taken off the market prior to the draft (and I don’t see us signing a TE until after the draft).

    And for crying out loud, Ben Tate is going to be a starter somewhere. The only reason to bring him to Baltimore would be if they expect Ray Rice to be missing for an extended period of time AND if they think Pierce is going to be a bust. Someone like Darren McFadden (who is good in short bursts but not reliable as a starter) may be a better fit as he’s more explosive yet would be more willing to play second or even third fiddle on a 1 year deal. The question there is whether some team over pays for McFadden’s potential.

  3. bio on said:

    “Third, players like Deonte Thompson, Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson have proven to be dynamic returners.”

    Not trying to be trolling, but these players compared to Jacoby regarding the return game is just like saying no problem if we lose flacco because Tyrod Taylor has proven to be a dynmaic QB…

    I fully understand why we are in all likelyhood lost Jacoby – but let’s not try to fool ourselves: we all know that without him our return game will almost surely decline heavily. Before Jacoby came to Baltimore, we had like one or two return TD’s in like 2-3 seasons. And I’m afraid that’s about what we can expect after Jacoby leaves.

    Once again, I understand the reasons completely – but let’s not try to fool ourselves with Asa, Deonthe or Webb. They’re surely fine players, but have shown next to nothing as returners. Yeah, Asa had a fine return TD – but in a pre-season game… Webb is our prime CB, so of course he’s gonna sparsely do any returns. And I don’t even think Deonthe will be on the roster next season – especially if we draft a WR – which all signs seem to be pointing towards…

  4. Cheri on said:

    I am having a major brain cramp right now but isn’t Houston other TE a FA too ? Damn I can’t think of his name right now but Graham or him would be a great pickup.

  5. nat on said:

    ray rice , jacoby jones deonte thompson all in trouble with law why are they still a raven like ray lewis said tthre’s no leadership in the locker room guys in there 20′s acting like teenagers that’s sad

  6. akacrow on said:

    None of the above, maybe Wade Smith(OG) in FA, and Chris Myers(OC) and a strong maybe on Owen Daniels(TE) if either is released.

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