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DeCosta Forgoes a Trade

Eric DeCosta
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: General manager Eric DeCosta of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Ravens GM Eric DeCosta likely kicked the tires on a potential trade.

In the end, though, he decided to hold onto his future draft picks and not have to deal with the salary-cap ramifications of adding a player.

Coach John Harbaugh was perfectly content with his current roster, especially with several players expected to return from injuries in the coming weeks.

The Ravens are 5-2 and in first place in the AFC North. They currently hold the third seed in the playoffs behind the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders, both of whom are dealing with turmoil and uncertainty.

“Every trade deadline, it goes down to the end,” Harbaugh said. “You never know; things happen fast. So, we have our team, [and] I really like our team. We have everything we need on our team right now, but if we can be improved and if it’s mutually beneficial to both teams, you’re excited about something like that.”

It’s not like the Ravens are afraid to make deals at the trade deadline.

Last season, they acquired defensive end Yannick Ngakoue from the Minnesota Vikings for a 2021 third-round draft pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2022. However, Ngakoue underachieved and signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as a free agent where he’s played much better.

In 2019, the Ravens picked up All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters from the Rams for linebacker Kenny Young and a fifth-round draft pick. Peters made an immediate impact in Baltimore but suffered a season-ending knee injury during training camp.

And in 2018, the Ravens traded a 2020 seventh-round draft pick to the Green Bay Packers for running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Montgomery played fairly well for the Ravens before signing with the Jets and later the Saints.

Harbaugh is content with his current roster. He was just focused on the next game against Minnesota.

“We’re just getting ready for the Vikings right now, and as coaches, that’s what we’re focusing on.”

The Ravens were linked to Colts running back Marlon Mack, but they apparently didn’t think it was worth a one-year rental. Mack ran for 1,091 yards in 2019 before suffering an Achilles injury at the beginning of last season.

Mack has rushed for 85 yards in three games this season, including a season-high 47 yards against the Ravens. At age 25, he still has a lot of football left in him, and in the end, he stayed with the Colts.

The Ravens’ ground game has been inconsistent this season after losing all three running backs on their depth chart in the preseason.

They added veterans Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman, but they are averaging 3.7 yards per carry. The Ravens are still ranked third in the NFL with 149.4 yards per game, largely due to quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens could also use help in the secondary and offensive line. However, most NFL teams were also looking for support in those areas.

The biggest blockbuster deal was the Rams’ acquisition of Von Miller. Los Angeles is in the win-now mode because it has basically traded away its short-term future by letting go of draft picks. The Rams traded second-and third-round picks for Miller in the 2022 NFL Draft and sent pair of first-round picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford.

The Ravens run their franchise the opposite way.

Baltimore has 10 selections in next year’s draft, and DeCosta was not willing to part with one of those picks for a half-season rental.

He wants to win now without jeopardizing the future.

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