3. Overpay too many of their own free agents:
The Ravens are probably going to bring back Matt Judon on the franchise tag. This means that the Ravens are going to have less to work with in free agency. One thing the Ravens can’t do is desperately try to keep the band together. They can’t look at all their free agents and make them priorities. The Ravens could very easily lose five or six notable players in free agency. For example Michael Pierce, Patrick Onwuasor, Jimmy Smith, Chris Moore and Seth Roberts all have a good chance of finding employment else where. The Ravens may decide to let Brandon Carr go to save cap space.
Other than maybe Seth Roberts, the Ravens probably don’t want to lose any of these players. Pierce is a top of the line space eater. Onwuasor is a good rotational player at the linebacker position. Smith is a great match up guy at the cornerback position and Moore provides value as a gunner on special teams. Carr has a hefty cap hit of seven million dollars if the Ravens pick up the option in his contract. At least two or three of these players are gone, there is no getting around it assuming the Ravens bring back Judon and are in on at least one other free agent.
The Ravens can’t overpay these players to come back. If they can’t get Pierce and or Smith back on a team friendly deal, they must be willing to say goodbye. The contract extensions maneuvered by DeCosta show you how much he wants to keep players in purple. The one mistake the Ravens absolutely can’t make is overvaluing too many of their own free agents. They have to go into this knowing they are probably losing a linebacker, a defensive lineman and at least one cornerback in the free agency period.