Baltimore Ravens debates: Can the Ravens move on from C.J. Mosley?
Richard Bradshaw: The Ravens must keep Mosley
The argument that is made about replacing star-level players with veterans or rookies can get tricky. Currently, C.J. Mosley is undoubtedly the top linebacker on the market, and there’s a sizeable drop off after him. In the same light, the Baltimore Ravens may have two young studs in Patrick Onwuasor and Kenny Young, but both are significantly less talented than Mosley. We can go back-and-forth all day as to what C.J. Mosley does and does not do well, but we can’t deny how important he is the Ravens defense. With the team recently cutting safety Eric Weddle and having edge rusher Terrell Suggs an unrestricted free agent, Baltimore doesn’t have the necessary leadership right now to keep the defense operating.
Yes, the Ravens have a plethora of talent in individuals like Marlon Humphrey, Tavon Young, Tony Jefferson, Brandon Williams, and Michael Pierce, but none of them possess the leadership role that Mosley has. Mosley is a natural leader; he sets the defense up to succeed more often than not thanks to his high football IQ and being a student of the game. This fact gets overlooked far too often, but leadership is hard to replace. If Baltimore were to lose Weddle, Suggs, and Mosley in one off-season (not to include the possibility of other contributors such as Za’Darius Smith and Brent Urban), the gap in leadership is astronomical. Leadership isn’t a statistic that fans can see, but you can look at some of the other defenses in the NFL and point to a lack of superiority and command shows.
At the end of the day, 31 other teams in the NFL would be more than happy to sign C.J. Mosley to a lucrative contract. The Ravens would be foolish to not place themselves as the front-runners to bring him home. Why even risk the possibility of losing such a key member of your defense, and one of the best the franchise has ever seen? Don’t risk Mosley going to Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Instead, keep him happy in Baltimore and let him run your defense for the next four-to-five more years.