Free Agency is an exciting time of the NFL offseason. The Baltimore Ravens have been active in recent years, but they won’t be quite as much this offseason.
Through its franchise history, the Baltimore Ravens have seen more guys get big contracts elsewhere than they have given them out. That trend has changed slightly over the last few years with the team claiming guys like Elvis Dumervil and Earl Thomas. Don’t expect Baltimore to remain aggressive in Free Agency this offseason, however.
While the Ravens are strapped on cap space (projected slightly under ~$5 million in cap space), that isn’t the biggest reason why the team will be quiet during this year’s Free Agency period.
It’s because the Baltimore Ravens have already made their big offseason moves. They just so happened to occur before the 2020 NFL Free Agency period officially opened.
To date, the Ravens have made three massive moves dating back to late-December of 2019:
- Extended cornerback Marcus Peters to a three-year $42 million contract ($15 million cap hit in 2020) after trading a 2020 fifth-round draft choice and linebacker Kenny Young to the Los Angeles Rams
- Franchise tagged edge rusher Matt Judon (~$16 million cap hit)
- Traded a 2020 fifth-round pick for defensive lineman Calais Campbell ($15 million cap hit) followed by a two-year $27 million extension
Those moves are astronomically big. Just because they didn’t happen during the league’s official Free Agency period doesn’t mean they weren’t to that level of extreme relevance.
For starters, the Ravens spoiled themselves by trading for Marcus Peters at the midway point of the 2019 season, then rewarded themselves and Peters for his great performance with a deal that places him in the top-four at his position on an average annual salary. Peters was a high-profile player before coming to Baltimore, so extending him was a move that made ripple effects throughout the league. Peters staying in Charm City gives the team arguably the best secondary in the entire NFL.
Franchise tagging a player seems like cheating, but it’s still a noteworthy offseason move that heavily effects Free Agency. Matt Judon was set to get a big payday this offseason, but the Ravens slapped the Pro Bowler with the tag to avoid losing him to another team. Judon’s $16 million cap hit for 2020 alone is huge, and there’s a chance that the team works out a long-term deal with him during the rest of the offseason process.
The most recent move was the acquisition of Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are in their own conundrum with their own franchise-tagged edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who appears ready to move on from the team. Moving Campbell was an obvious salary dump for the team. Even at 33-years old (will turn 34-years old in September), Campbell remains a highly productive pass rusher and gives the Ravens a legitimate threat to the quarterback with Judon likely returning in 2020 (barring a trade).
These three moves would have been the talk of the town if they had happened on the opening day of 2020’s Free Agency Frenzy. Instead, they are offseason headlines that will be forgotten about by most when the 2020 Free Agency period opens. Ravens Flock won’t forget the moves, but hopefully, they understand that this means that the team will likely be dormant during the actual Free Agency period.
Free Agency Frenzy is perhaps more exciting than the NFL Draft and always has us oo-ing and ah-ing. It’s been pretty neat to see the Baltimore Ravens more active and aggressive during the last few years, but don’t expect that to stay the same in 2020. Baltimore has already made their moves, so don’t be greedy, Ravens Flock.