The Baltimore Ravens have made some big free-agent signings and trades throughout the years, but which ones are the Top 5 in Franchise History?
Here is a list of my Top 5 free agent signings/trades in Baltimore Ravens History.
5. Sam Adams
The Ravens already had a solid defense going into the 2000 NFL Season, but the signing of Sam Adams on Draft Day solidified the defense even more. With Tony Siragusa and Adams clogging up the middle, it made the opponent’s chances of running the ball harder.
Do the 2000 Ravens win the Super Bowl that year if they don’t sign Sam Adams? Who knows, but we should all be thankful that he did sign with Baltimore and that’s why he is the Top 5 free agent/trades in franchise history.
4. Steve McNair
Steve McNair was only a Baltimore Raven for two seasons, but he was the type of quarterback that the team needed. He led the Ravens to a 13-3 record in his first season in Baltimore after being traded by the Tennessee Titans. Before McNair, the Ravens quarterback situation was all over the place. Former first-round pick Kyle Boller was turning out to be a bust.
The front office knew that the team had a top defense and their window was closing and closing fast, so why not go all out and try to win a Super Bowl with Steve McNair as the QB with that top defense under Rex Ryan.
3. Steve Smith
Wide receiver has always been the Achilles heel for the Baltimore Ravens, ever since 1996. The franchise could never draft and develop receivers of their own, ultimately signing older free agents at the tail end of their careers.
Steve Smith Sr. was the perfect free agent signing for general manager Ozzie Newsome. He had swagger and toughness that the offense needed, especially Joe Flacco.
In his first season as a Raven, he amassed 1,000 receiving yards. That is one stat that hardly happens for Baltimore Ravens receivers.
2. Shannon Sharpe
Shannon Sharpe was easily my second overall top free agent/trade in franchise history. If it weren’t for Sharpe, do the Ravens beat the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship Game? The game might’ve had a different outcome without that monster play in the first quarter.
Another reason that Sharpe is number two is because of the impact he had on the career of Ray Lewis. He was a leader in the locker room and that’s what Lewis needed in the season after his infamous legal troubles.
1. Anquan Boldin
Anquan Boldin is obviously a slam-dunk for the number one overall trade in Baltimore Ravens franchise history. Without him on the roster, the Ravens probably don’t make and win that Super Bowl in 2012.
Boldin’s impact on the offense during the playoffs was so important for the offense. Whenever the team needed a big play/crucial catch, Boldin was the guy.
It felt like he caught every pass going his way during that playoff run, even the long passes from Joe Flacco. If it weren’t for Boldin’s massive impact on the Baltimore offense in 2012, then the Ravens don’t win the Super Bowl and that’s why he’s my number one free agent/traded player that the Baltimore Ravens made in franchise history.