The Baltimore Ravens are no longer bringing in Michael Brockers after initially signing him during Free Agency, but it’s not the end of the world.
During the first wave of Free Agency, the Baltimore Ravens had reportedly agreed to a three-year contract with Los Angeles Rams defensive linemen Michael Brockers but after a failed physical contract talks fell through. Here’s why it’s not all that bad:
I know most Ravens fans, including myself, were excited when the news broke about the Michael Brockers signing so the deal falling through is a bit disappointing. I was excited to see what defensive coordinator Don Martindale could do with Brockers at his disposal but now they possibly have younger, cheaper, and better options via the 2020 NFL Draft.
With Michael Brockers’ contract off the books, the Ravens are now sitting $14,528,779 dollars under the cap according to Brian McFarland which gives them some breathing room. I expect the Ravens to sign one more free-agent defensive line for depth but I think their main focus is now on the draft.
UPDATE: The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $6 million with former Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Three defensive linemen I like for Baltimore in the first two rounds are South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore, and TCU’s Ross Blacklock. Kinlaw is by far the superior talent but the only way I see Baltimore snagging him is by trading up. There’s a chance Kinlaw doesn’t make past the 10th pick but if he somehow slides down the board a bit I could see Eric DeCosta making the move. Kinlaw would be an absolute force along the Baltimore defensive line and give them the interior pass rush presence they’ve been lacking.
Gallimore, like Kinlaw, is a player they’d probably have to draft in the first round because it’s unlikely he’ll still be there when Baltimore picks in the second. Would Gallimore be worth a first-round pick? Absolutely. He would be a plug and play starter on opening day for the Ravens which would be an immediate upgrade over what they would’ve had in Michael Brockers. The best value though, comes from Ross Blacklock in the second round.
The three-year contract Baltimore had reportedly agreed to with Brockers would’ve paid him $30 million over three years according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. So, in theory, Baltimore would’ve been paying Brockers around $10 million a year (I know the contract was backloaded) which was more money most of us expected them to offer. If they were to draft Blacklock at 55 overall he’d only have a cap hit of $954,551 according to Spotrac. That’s $9 million dollars less for a younger and more talented player.
Does it suck Baltimore wasn’t able to strike a deal with Brockers? You bet but every situation has it’s silver lining and this is Baltimore’s. Yeah, they missed out on a solid starter at a position of need but now they have a chance to get a player whose younger, cheaper, and better. With Kinlaw, Gallimore, and Blacklock all being 7+ years younger than Brockers they’re not stop-gap players like he would’ve been. It’s time for Baltimore to rejuvenate the defensive line with young talent and the Brockers contract falling through gives them the chance to do so.