The Baltimore Ravens did not make any big splashes this year in free agency. And to be honest, they didn’t really need to. They have a solid, winning formula right now and minor tweaks are the only thing holding them back from a championship. Though they didn’t sign any big names, they did make some moves that were vital to the team’s success.
Grade and analysis after the jump…
Marshall Yanda was by far the most important signing for the Baltimore Ravens. He is an excellent lineman that is capable of playing both guard and tackle. He still has plenty of time left to play and should help bolster the line for years to come.
With the loss of Le’Ron McClain almost certain, the Ravens needed a new fullback. Vonta Leach is a punishing blocker that should lead Ray Rice to many touchdowns this season as he did last year for the league’s leading rusher, Arian Foster. This is a great pickup for a team that will need to pound the rock in physical games vs the Steelers and Jets.
The Ravens lost a lot of players during free agency, and I mean a lot of players. Chris Chester, Donte Stallworth, Josh Wilson, Fabian Washington, Todd Heap, soon to be Derrick Mason, Dawan Landry, Kelly Gregg, Willis McGahee, and Le’Ron McClain fill out the list of free agent casualties. Even though some of those players did not have a big impact on the team, they did contribute in their own unique way. It’s never good to cut players loose and any coach will tell you that they would keep everyone if they could. There’s no loss that will make your team better (Frank Walker is the exception) and it’s hard to see so many former Ravens in different uniforms.
Why: I give the Ravens a C based on the number of players they lost. Todd Heap is an irreplaceable player and he will be sorely missed. Josh Wilson was a starter last year and sealed the Monday night game in Houston. Without Willis and Le’Ron, the three-headed monster that once was a force to be reckoned with will no longer exist. We lost several players, swapped fullbacks, and resigned a couple. Hardly an improvement, if you ask me. Besides losing several players, the Ravens are basically the same team that they were last year. However, I’m not rating the entire offseason. So before you yell at me, I think that the Ravens’ draft performance should more than make up for their lackluster appearance in free agency. Free agency is still in the works and there are multiple players still floating around so don’t lose faith. This rating could definitely improve.
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft AFC North Baltimore Ravens Derrick Mason Donte Stallworth Ebony Bird FanSided Free Agency Haloti Ngata Joe Flacco John Harbaugh Lardarius Webb Le'Ron McClain New York Jets NFL Lockout Ozzie Newsome Ravens Ravens Rumors Ray Rice Willis McGahee