Looking back at the Ravens’ best moves from last offseason

Kristen Wong
Ravens (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Ravens (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

As Lamar Jackson contract talks continue to stall, we take a look back at the Baltimore Ravens‘ best moves from the 2021 offseason. No regrets there.

Because the Ravens have drafted well in recent history, they don’t tend to splurge on free agents in the offseason. Instead, they take the time to extend the contracts of their current players, which is exactly what they did with Mark Andrews.

The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec (subscription required) recently graded Baltimore’s 2021 offseason moves and gave the Mark Andrews extension an excellent mark:

"“Andrews ranks fourth among tight ends in average money per year ($14 million) and second behind San Francisco’s George Kittle in total guaranteed money ($37.6 million). That still feels like a bargain after a season during which Andrews set franchise records with 107 catches for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns.”"

Baltimore finalized the deal just a week before the start of the season when Andrews was a pending unrestricted free agent. By tying up the loose ends early, the Ravens saved money and held onto their most productive offensive weapon, other than Lamar Jackson.

In 2021, Andrews proved — as he already has in past years — to be arguably the league’s top tight end, outperforming George Kittle and Travis Kelce during stretches of the season.

Now that he’s signed through 2025, the Ravens can take a deep breath of relief knowing their most reliable pass-catching target is here to stay.

The Ravens made two very shrewd moves in the 2021 offseason

Zrebeic also noted another smart move by the Ravens last offseason in which the team traded offensive tackle Orlando Brown to the Chiefs.

While the Ravens desperately could have used Brown in the offensive line last season, the decision made the most sense long-term:

"“But does that mean that they were wrong for playing the long game? No. Brown didn’t want to be there, and the Ravens certainly didn’t have the flexibility or the interest in paying him top offensive tackle money. They’d have lost him anyway this offseason and gotten no better than a future compensatory selection in return.”"

Baltimore traded Brown, a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 sixth-rounder in exchange for 2021 first-, third- and fourth-round picks and a 2022 fifth-rounder.

Those draft picks materialized in the form of Odafe Oweh, the 31st overall pick, and Ben Cleveland, the 94th overall pick, and the Ravens still have a fifth-round pick to use this April.

Trading Brown last offseason was in both Brown’s and the Ravens’ best interest in the end, and Baltimore has plenty of time to pad its offensive line in time for the start of the 2022 season.

Next. Ravens build the trenches in a BIG way in 7-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. dark

What savvy moves will the Ravens make this offseason?