The Baltimore Ravens hit free agency with a plethora of needs at key positions. Here are five free agents they could target this offseason.
2017 proved yet to be another disappointing season for the Baltimore Ravens. It wasn’t Antonio Brown, but Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd who played the upset role 4th and 12. You couldn’t have drawn up a more heart-breaking end to a season and the Ravens have now missed the postseason three years running. After a magical run by John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco in their early years, that seems to be fading away with every passing season.
Thanks to Flacco’s contract and a number of dead cap money, the Ravens are strapped on cash again this offseason. They are expected to have around $11 million in available money before cap cuts, which ranks towards the bottom of the NFL. Still somehow, Ozzie Newsome and the front office find a way to maneuver money and bring in high-caliber free agents. If they can pull that off again in 2018 has yet to be seen but the Ravens need help now more than ever.
Things are getting antsy in Baltimore and one more mediocre season could spell trouble in the organization. For now, the Ravens will play the part of contenders this offseason in hopes of ending the playoff drought.
Here are five free agent names they could target come March.
The Ravens have found the heir apparent to Ray Lewis in C.J. Mosley, but are desperately missing his counterpart. Zachary Orr looked to be the solution but a congenital spinal condition forced him to retire abruptly. Second-year undrafted linebacker Patrick Onwuasor filled the role but it’s unsure if he’s the long-term solution. If the Ravens want to buy more time and look for a veteran placeholder, Karlos Dansby could be an option.
Dansby knows the AFC North all too well and played with the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2016 before joining the Arizona Cardinals. He was solid in the middle of the front-seven finishing with 96 total tackles, one sack, and one interception. The Cardinals look to be in rebuilding mode and it’s hard to see Dansby wanting to stay around for that at this point in his career. The Ravens are a couple defensive pieces away from being a playoff contender and Dansby could be one of the missing links.
The Ravens have done something similar with veteran linebackers in the past. They signed free agent Daryl Smith from the Jaguars and he had three very productive seasons in Baltimore. While he’s on the latter part of his career, Dansby brings much-needed size to position for the Ravens at 6-foot-4. He’s shown he can be productive and it’s a low-risk, high-reward option the Ravens should consider if their cap situation allows it.