According to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport, Zach Orr is retiring due to a major injury. The news is sad and shocking. It also adds another need for the Ravens to fill.
Zach Orr was one of my favorite players. Here was a guy who was an undrafted free agent out of North Texas, got his shot and became one of the best linebackers in football. Now, Orr is 24 years old and walking away from the game. It may be hard to blame him, but you never want to see somebody so to go out like this.
Orr is young, but recovery is a long road. Orr must have decided that this was the best decision for him, and we have to respect it. Football is a grueling sport, this is why the average NFL career is essentially a few years. The Ravens saw promise in Orr and watched him develop into one of the fiercest linebackers in the NFL.
It looked like Orr would be a long time starter at the position. He had the ability to make plays in the back field and to play coverage. Orr and Mosley were a great combination in the middle of the Ravens defense.
The Ravens still have more pressing needs than inside linebacker. They must improve the wide receiver position. They must find pass rushers on the edge and the free safety position is a big need. Cornerback is a position the Ravens are also found wanting. The Ravens are losing a phenomenal player but we shouldn’t expect a knee jerk reaction.
The Ravens now are given another spot to fill on their roster. It is possible Kamalei Correa could fill the role. Correa was the Ravens second round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Orr won the position over Correa this past season. The Ravens are good at developing talent at the linebacker position. The Ravens may not want to go into the season with Correa as their only plan, but there are worse situations. This is especially true when you have a Pro Bowl talent like C.J. Mosley as your other inside linebacker.
This certainly is not good news. It would have been nice to see Orr have a long career. Orr came from what seems like nowhere and he became an amazing player. He got that good, this quickly. It’s hard to fathom the type of success he may be walking away from. The Ravens have a little more work to do, but Orr’s health and safety comes first.