Baltimore Ravens free agent profile: Patrick Onwuasor
Patrick Onwausor was an undrafted free agent for the Baltimore Ravens in 2016. Now he’s a free agent.
Patrick Onwuasor has outperformed the label of being an undrafted free agent for the Baltimore Ravens. In four seasons he has accumulated 234 tackles. He’s a very capable blitzing linebacker who has 8.5 sacks in the last two seasons. This has been a very valuable tool for a Ravens defense that has struggled to get after the passer.
Onwuasor is a player who very much is who he is. He can be a productive part of a linebacker rotation. He does best when he’s the weak side inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. The 2019 season showed that he wasn’t a Mike linebacker and he wasn’t going to take a huge step up. Onwuasor failed to fill the C.J. Mosley void.
The fact that adding players like L.J. Fort and Josh Bynes patched things together last year devalues Onwuasor. The Ravens had to bring people in because their trio at inside linebacker wasn’t cutting it. It also showed that getting average players who could play assignment football could be an affordable way to get through a season. Onwuasor proved that he’s a rotational player, not a star.
The Ravens are likely to move on from Onwuasor this offseason. With Fort as the only locked up piece of the inside linebacker rotation, the Ravens are probably going to retool the position. The Ravens have a fairly solid resume when it comes to drafting an inside linebacker. At some point in the first two evenings of the 2020 NFL Draft expect an inside linebacker to be taken. Both Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen have been linked as possibilities for the Ravens.
Spotrac.com has Onwuasor’s market value estimated at just under five million dollars per season. That’s not break the bank money yet it’s a lot for a player who isn’t truly a three down linebacker. It’s also worth noting that free agents tend to get overpaid. That number could easily get to six or seven million dollars per season. The Ravens aren’t doing that.
The Ravens have seen players who are very similar to Onwuasor get overpaid in free agency. Dannell Ellerbee and Edgerton Hartwell are two that come to mind. A team desperate for linebackers is going to value Onwuasor who has always been moderately productive. Expect Onwuasor to get a chance to be a starter for another team. He’s not a bad player, he’s just not a great player.
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The free agent market is interesting at inside linebacker. Cory Littleton, Alec Ogletree, Joe Schobert and Kyle Van Noy are all fairly intriguing options. Onwuasor isn’t going to set the market and he could be hanging in free agency limbo. The only way the Ravens bring Onwuasor back is if he stays available for a while and the numbers start to make sense.
The Ravens are expected to address the position in the NFL Draft yet they very well could spend some of their cap space on an upgrade at linebacker. Littleton isn’t coming to town, because that’s going to be a big contract. Schobert to the Ravens makes a ton of sense. If the Ravens can’t splurge on an edge rusher, they may as well make their linebacker situation better.
The Ravens should only bring back Onwuasor at the right price. That could easily become impossible. Put me down for Onwuasor finding another team this offseason.