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Justin Time? Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Lombardi's Way Justin Time?

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Clearly it’s a fluid situation but it appears the market for available edge defenders is about to heat up. Jadeveon Clowney reportedly will visit the Browns for the second time this offseason and if that does in fact happen, it suggests that a deal is imminent.

The Ravens showed interest in Clowney during the 2020 season and crafted a clever trade that included the Jacksonville Jaguars which would have helped the Ravens sidestep some salary cap issues. That said the creative deal was rejected by the league in Dikembe Mutombo style. But just because the Ravens had interest last season, doesn’t necessarily mean that Eric DeCosta envisions the 2014 No. 1 overall pick in purple this season.

Clowney possesses great natural ability but his “availability” falls short. Out of a possible 112 regular season games during his seven NFL seasons, Clowney has played in just 83 contests (74%). Last season in Nashville he dressed eight times, producing exactly 0 sacks, 4 tackles for loss and 6 QB hits.

The Browns obviously aren’t too concerned and their attempts to land Clowney despite the presence of Myles Garrett and Tak McKinley, would appear to create a logjam at the edge. But maybe the Browns have decided that a rotation of the three might preserve each and bump the production per snap. Maybe the Browns also took note of the way Tampa destroyed the Chiefs offensive line in Super Bowl 55 and they’d like to do the same. Keep in mind that the Browns nearly bumped off Kansas City in the Divisional Round last season.

Houston, You Can Solve a Problem

Justin Houston is reportedly in Baltimore today to take in the Ravens dog and pony show. For my money, Houston is a better fit for the Ravens. He’s shown consistency throughout his career and availability that escapes Clowney. I expect a full court press from Eric DeCosta & Co. But that said, I DO NOT expect a contract to be announced any time before May 3, the day teams can sign free agents without any negative consequence to the comp pick formula.

Justin Houston

Stats courtesy of ProFootball Reference

The risk in such a strategy is obvious. Another team can enter the negotiation mix and drive up the price to land Houston. And if such competitors for Houston’s services, real or otherwise, do so successfully, Houston could fall out of the mix, failing the “right player, right price” credo.

The Ravens could then turn their heads towards Melvin Ingram, Olivier Vernon or Ryan Kerrigan.

HOF LOL

Like many of you, I’ve seen the chatter on Twitter about the recently retired Julian Edelman to the Hall of Fame. It’s laughable. Edelman is a nice player. He’s tough, does all the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet and he’s enjoyed postseason success. But he ranks 156th in career receiving yards.

One. Hundred. Fifty. Six.

Edelman, who the Ravens kicked the free agent tires on a few years back, has 125 receivers ahead of him with more receiving yards who ARE NOT in the Hall of Fame. The public is more aware of Julian because of the spotlight that has always been directed towards the New England Patriots, thanks to Tom Brady.

To allow Edelman in the Hall is a disservice to all current inductees.

By the way, no one ever talks about Derrick Mason as a HOF candidate. Mason didn’t play with the best quarterback of all time. Instead he played with guys like Kyle Boller, Anthony Wright and a broken Steve McNair in Baltimore. Despite it all, Mason (12,061, 27th-ranked) has 5,239 MORE receiving yards than Edelman’s 6,822.

The prosecution rests…

Zeus Deuce

Trade talks regarding Orlando Brown, Jr. have been next to non-existent lately and at this point you would have to think that he’ll line up at right tackle for the Ravens in 2021. The Ravens are said to be steadfast in their demand for a No. 1 pick in exchange for Brown and as of now the asking price is apparently too steep.

The consensus amongst fans in Baltimore suggests that Zeus Deuce is worthy of something more than a No. 1. That’s a reach! Brown has benefitted from playing with Lamar Jackson whose elusiveness eliminates the potential for more sacks allowed. As a runner, Lamar’s speed and explosiveness while climbing to the second level of a defense, protects an offensive lineman like Brown, who seems to decelerate after his initial block. He’s not much of a finisher.

Orlando has been a good player for the Ravens and has provided plenty of value as a third-round pick. But let’s not allow his Pro Bowl hardware to distort his MARKET value apart from Lamar.

The apparent lack of interest in dealing a No. 1 for Brown tells the story.

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com. His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi
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