Analyzing Baltimore Ravens safeties post Earl Thomas release
The Baltimore Ravens don’t have to worry about Earl Thomas anymore. How does their safety group look after the big move to release Thomas?
The Earl Thomas story line was one that was hard to see coming. Did we know that Thomas was difficult? Absolutely. Did we think he would end up off the team this close to the regular season? Absolutely not. It got bad. It got to a point of no return, and the Ravens decided to part ways with him. Now the Ravens have a completely different outlook at the free safety position and in their whole group of safeties. Today we’re going to look at what the Ravens have in the back end of their defense and list their strengths and weaknesses coming into the season.
What we really need to do is to look at this as a “Next man up” situation. From a football standpoint there really is no difference between this and Thomas sustaining a season long injury. That’s something the Ravens know they would have to be prepared for at every position group, so replacing Thomas is something they should at least be a little prepared for. The Ravens have five players classified as safeties on their roster.
Chuck Clark is the starting strong safety. The starting free safety is DeShon Elliott‘s to win. The Ravens also have Anthony Levine Sr., Jordan Richards, Geno Stone and Nigel Warrior. Levine Sr. has played a lot of different roles for the Ravens. His experience and versatility could end up being a big deal. Richards is a special teams player and Stone has a lot of potential as a late round rookie.
It is worth noting that the Ravens could add players to the fold in response to losing a Pro Bowl starting free safety. Tony Jefferson and Brandon Carr could be realistic options in free agency and the Ravens could be eyeing their return. Jimmy Smith could play some safety if the Ravens needed him to, thought it’s not his natural position. Now that the picture of what the purple and black is laid out, let’s dive into the strengths and weaknesses of this position group.