Josh Bynes named the Ravens most improved player of 2021

Ravens, Josh Bynes Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Josh Bynes Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens saw quite a few surprise standouts from the 2021 season, but one player who unexpectedly shined brighter than perhaps anyone else was linebacker Josh Bynes.

Bynes was signed virtually off the street by the Ravens in September with the team looking to add depth to their linebacker room. Bynes, of course, was a familiar face having two prior stints in Baltimore.

It didn’t take long for the veteran linebacker to establish himself as more than just depth. Bynes took over as a full-time starter by Week 6 and put together a fantastic season, helping solidify the position in the process.

Pro Football Focus recently named the most improved player on every team’s roster and Bynes earned the nod for the Ravens. Here was their rationale.

"“Bynes produced at a career-low level in his lone season as a Cincinnati Bengal in 2020. He turned in a 52.6 PFF grade that year — over 27.0 grading points lower than his 2019 campaign in Baltimore. He came back to the Ravens for 2021 and bounced back once he became the starter in Week 6. From that point on, Bynes was a top-10-graded linebacker in the NFL.”"

Josh Bynes helped salvage the Ravens linebacker position in 2021

Not only was Bynes one of the Ravens’ most consistent performers for most of the season, but he helped stabilize a position group that looked lost at times early in the year.

The Ravens went into the year relying on the inexperienced duo of Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison since L.J. Fort was lost for the season to injury. The results weren’t pretty.

Bynes helped steady the position and, perhaps more importantly, took a lot of the pressure off of Queen. In turn, the second-year linebacker played some of the best football of his career with Bynes by his side.

Bynes’ value extended far beyond his on-field production, although that certainly was a major plus. However, with the 32-year-old set to be a free agent again this offseason, it’s unclear if the two sides will come to terms on an agreement.

The Ravens might still be looking to upgrade at the linebacker position in the offseason and Bynes is hardly a long-term answer. Still, he proved his worth once more in 2021 and is someone the team should probably look to keep around.

Next. 6 Ravens in line for more playing time in the 2022 season. dark

Here’s to hoping that Josh Bynes is back in 2022 as he looks to build off of what might have been the best season of his entire career.