The Baltimore Ravens may have been tentative about signing Haason Reddick because he only has one big year of production to his name. The key with Reddick is that you didn’t want to overpay. Much like with the NFL Draft, this free-agent signing would have come with a boom or bust warning. At the right price though? This should have happened.
According to a report by Mike Garafolo, Reddick signed with the Panthers for a one-year deal worth up to eight million dollars. The Panthers got it. They gave Reddick a prove-it deal. If Reddick proves himself to be more in line with his 12.5 sack 2020 season than his other years, Carolina wins. They got at least one year of a good pass rusher for a bargain.
The Ravens are in a position where that kind of deal would make sense for them. One way or another, the 2021 NFL Draft class for Baltimore must include a pass rusher. One way or another. The Ravens can think short-term with it, knowing that if they did their job right, Reddick at worst would just be the bandage to get them through the 2020 season.
Now it’s not a promise that the Ravens could have gotten the same contract with Reddick. That being said, this is where his market was at. This should have been in the Ravens’ comfort zone. Reddick would have been a lowkey investment that could have been a subtle investment for a potentially resounding free agent victory.
Reddick would have been a perfect fit for the Ravens defense. He did his developing with the Arizona Cardinals, he’s starting to turn on the gas. Reddick could have ended up much as Za’Darius Smith did for the Green Bay Packers.
In hindsight, the Ravens shouldn’t have let Smith go, yet Smith wasn’t a sure thing for his next team. Signing Reddick would have redeemed the Ravens mildly for continually grooming outside linebackers for other teams. This would have been coming from it from the other side for once.
The Ravens are being patient and every move they made has been sensible. Even if they gave Reddick $11 million or an extra year, would that not have been practical? I mean you wouldn’t;t want to lose a fifth-round compensatory pick would you (that was sarcasm).
The Ravens need to do something more than re-signing Tyus Bowser and Derek Wolfe. Both deals make sense and are good things. They can’t be the only things. The Ravens have less pass rush on the roster than they did when they lost the Buffalo Bills in the postseason. It’s not a secret where they need to look to get better.
The Ravens are playing things a little too tightly at two very big positions of need. The Ravens’ need at outside linebacker is just as pronounced if not more so than their need at wide receiver. They haven’t done a thing on either front. Sure, more roster cuts can happen. Sure, there is still time to make moves. However, urgency wouldn’t hurt here.
The Ravens are risking pigeonholing themselves in the 2021 NFL Draft. The ground they don’t make up
in free agency they have to cover in the draft. That’s not great news, considering the Ravens believe strictly in the best player available model. That way of looking at the draft often conflicts with taking care of the most pressing needs.
The Bottom Line:
It’s amazing how little would hold the Ravens over. It really is. The Ravens could have signed Marvin Jones. That was the one receiver they passed on in the open market that is very gripe-worthy. Is it too much to sign a pass rusher, willing to take a fairly workable one-year deal?
The Ravens need to do something. It doesn’t have to be huge. It just has to help them to their overall goals to take the pressure off of the NFL Draft. Reddick would have been the easiest way for the Ravens to get what they needed out of the free agency period. They made a mistake by not getting this done.