Offseason About to Take Bigger Turns

Street Talk Offseason About to Take Bigger Turns

Posted in Street Talk
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The Ravens are already having a busy offseason.

They’ve agreed to trade Joe Flacco to Denver.

Eric DeCosta extended the contract of Tavon Young and reached a new deal with Nick Boyle just days before he hit the free-agent market.

The Ravens cut ties with veterans Michael Crabtree and Eric Weddle for salary-cap space.

And yet, there is still plenty of heavy lifting ahead.

That challenge is not lost on coach John Harbaugh.

“I think we have a lot to do,” he said. “We knew that even during the season – we were going to have a lot to do. We have a lot of young players that we want to keep. We had veteran leaders that were going to be different types of scenarios for each guy. We’re still working that out.”

Ravens offseason

Photo Credit: John David Mercer, USA Today Sports

The Ravens have three solid tight ends with Boyle, Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst. The team will part ways with Maxx Williams, a former second-round pick (55th overall), and look to the draft or free agency to add another playmaker for depth.

The team also needs to find a running back after releasing Alex Collins and apparently allowing Javorius Allen to become a free agent. Right now, they have Gus Edwards, Kenneth Dixon, De’Lance Turner and Tyler Ervin on the depth chart.

As its stands, Edwards is expected to retain the starting job after a solid rookie campaign, but Harbaugh hinted that could change over the coming weeks.  

“We’re going to put some competition in there for him, too, and we’ll see how he responds to it,” Harbaugh said.

The Ravens boasted one of the top defenses in the league last season. However, they are on the cusp of losing several key players to free agency, most notably C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs.

They’ve also lost a field general in Weddle. The Ravens will need to find a player to replace for him.

That could be easier said than done, according to Harbaugh.

“Eric Weddle, he is just the consummate football player, the consummate leader,” Harbaugh said. “He will go down in history like that. I think he should be in the Hall of Fame. I think we’ll have two Ravens safeties in the Hall of Fame, I think, at some point in time. I really believe that. [Weddle and Ed Reed] are different kinds of players, but they both had the same kind of an impact in terms of on their team that I could see as a coach.”

DeCosta still could reach deals with Mosley and Suggs, but Smith might have priced himself off the team. He is looking at a big payday on the open market. The Ravens might need to find a solid pass rusher via the draft or through free agency because neither Tyus Bowser nor Tim Williams have shown they can fill the void.

Another priority is finding a backup quarterback for Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III has expressed interest in returning.

With Crabtree gone and John Brown expected to test the market, the Ravens have Willie Snead, Chris Moore, Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott on the depth chart at wide receiver. DeCosta will need to find an upgrade or possibly two. He will be looking to end a string of underachieving drafts picks within that unit this year.

Finally, DeCosta needs to find depth on the offensive line, especially within the interior.

An interesting offseason will be taking even more intriguing turns.

 

 

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Todd Karpovich

About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe's Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory. More from Todd Karpovich

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