Ravens reportedly to sign Shane Ray: Breaking it down
According to a tweet from Tom Pelissero, the Ravens are ready to sign Shane Ray, pending a physical:
The Baltimore Ravens are set to add Shane Ray to their roster, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero. This comes after the Ravens signed Pernell McPhee yesterday. The Ravens lost two outside linebackers in free agency. They may not have replaced the production of Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith, but they are now set for an outside linebacker by committee situation.
Matt Judon is an every down outside linebacker. There will be a rotation of players on the other side. Jaylon Ferguson will be the top player opposite of Judon if he can prove himself early. McPhee is a situational pass rusher and Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams and Shane Ray have to find where they fit in.
There have probably been better days to be named Tim Williams or Tyus Bowser. The outside linebacker position was thinner at the start of the offseason, however now there is plenty of competition.
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The key part of this move is that the Ravens now have options at the position. Before signing McPhee and Ray the defense absolutely needed Williams or Bowser to step up. Now the Ravens have four players essentially on prove it deals to go with Judon and Ferguson.
The addition of Ray is a very interesting one. He’s a player that came into the league as an explosive edge rusher. In his second season with the Denver Broncos he had eight sacks. If it weren’t for injuries he could have become a very integral part of the Broncos defensive efforts. That’s why this move is exciting. It’s a low cost move with a big potential payoff.
Ray has to prove himself with the Ravens. He’s trying to get his career back on track. If he is healthy he may still have the talent that made him a first round pick. Ray is 25 years old and his career at one point seemed to be going places. The Ravens may have just gotten a steal on the free agent market. There is reason to be excited about the move but there is no promise that Ray will become a game changer.
The Ravens now have more to work with on the defense. The Ravens knew that the outside linebacker spot was one of their thinnest positions. Now there is more depth. Low risk moves that could yield high rewards are always good business.