Ravens departures: Looking at who is best set up for success
Here is a look at the free agents the Ravens let find other teams. Which now-former Ravens are set up for success? Which Ravens will the Ravens want back?
Matt Judon, New England Patriots
Going from the Baltimore Ravens to the New England Patriots makes a lot of sense. Bill Bellicheck values players like Judon, players who are versatile and can do more than one thing well. Judon isn’t going to be the top sack artist in the league.
If he was going to become that kind of player he already would have. Judon should be a solid player for the Patriots though, so it’s a good fit. Look for Judon to do what he does. Look for seven to eight sacks and a lot of responsibilities in this Patriots defense.
The Patriots may have overpaid for Judon. It all comes down to the Patriots and their organizational expectations for Judon. If they think they added a premier pass rusher, they didn’t. If the Patriots think they added a jack of all trades and a solid player overall they did.
Yannick Ngakoue, Las Vegas Raiders:
Ngakoue has been moving around a lot lately. He very quickly went from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Minnesota Vikings, the Baltimore Ravens, and now the Las Vegas Raiders. Signing a two-year deal with the Raiders gives him the chance to build an actual home again, to get back into the mold of a normal season.
With the state of mind of being with a team that wants him, he could go back to being the elite pass rusher he looked like he was becoming with the Jaguars. I’d be very interested to see how high Ngakoue’s production can get. It will tell Baltimore whether or not they made a big mistake letting him go.
It’s important to remember that Ngakoue has never had a bad season. Ngakoue may have only had one double-digit sack season, though he’s never had less than eight sacks in a season. That held true in his 2020 season with a couple of moves during the process of the season. If there was one free agent the Ravens should have gotten back it’s Ngakoue.
Matt Skura, Miami Dolphins
Matt Skura has a chance for a fresh start. After last season that’ what he needs. While Skura may not be the answer for the Ravens, he’s been a very solid player for them. I think Skura got the yips last season with the bad snaps.
If he’s going to get over that a new team and a new chapter is good for him. Look for Skura to be a decent starter. That’s probably all he’ll be though it can be a great career for him still.
Chris Moore, Houston Texans
Chris Moore moving on to the Houston Texans makes so much sense for him. Moore is a player who probably won’t be much more than a special teams ace, though he’s really good at that. There are much worse ways to make a living.
Following David Culley to Houston, probably means he already has an advocate down there. If Moore gets more of a chance at wide receiver it would be interesting. For now he is what he is and Houston is obviously okay with it.
Jihad Ward: Jacksonville Jaguars
Ward going to the Jaguars makes sense. He follows Joe Cullen to Jacksonville. Cullen went from being the Ravens defensive line coach to the Jaguars defensive coordinator. Ward is a serviceable player who is both an under the radar free agent and an underrated one. Ward will be a solid role player for the Jaguars.
For the most part, the teams that signed Ravens’ free agents are getting what they bargained for. The one that the Ravens may regret letting getaway is Ngakoue. If the Ravens were more active in free agency their departures wouldn’t feel so dramatic.