Should the Ravens re-sign or decline CB Anthony Averett?

Ravens, Anthony Averett Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Anthony Averett Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens felt the brunt of injuries in 2021 with perhaps no position group being hit harder than their secondary. One player who stepped up in wake of those injuries was Anthony Averett.

A fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Averett battled through injuries in his first three NFL seasons serving as little more than adequate depth. But that all changed in 2021.

With Marcus Peters tearing his ACL in the summer, Averett was called upon to be a full-time starter opposite Marlon Humphrey. And when Humphrey was inevitably lost for the season, Averett became the team’s de facto No. 1 cornerback.

While he certainly didn’t play at an All-Pro level, Averett held his own given the circumstances. Now a free agent, the former Alabama standout might garner a pretty sizable market.

Should the Ravens re-sign Anthony Averett?

The Ravens finished the 2021 season with the NFL’s 32nd-ranked pass defense due in large part to injuries suffered in the secondary. Averett, although he held his own, didn’t exactly help the team’s cause.

The 27-year-old finished with a 56.3 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked 92nd out of 116 qualified cornerbacks. Again, he was consistently put into positions where he was set up to fail, but it’s hard to argue he didn’t struggle at times.

Still, there’s every reason to believe that Averett has at least piqued the interest of a number of teams around the league. There are likely teams out there that view Averett as a starting-caliber player.

Spotrac projects Averett’s market value at roughly three years, $37 million which is a little over $12 million per season. That’s healthy starter money, and it’s hard to imagine the Ravens are willing to pay that.

The only scenario where Averett returning makes sense is if he’s willing to take significantly less money to be a top backup behind Humphrey and a returning Peters, who the Ravens have already insisted they plan to retain even at his large salary.

But it’s highly likely that Averett will find a more appealing offer from another team in free agency. Meanwhile, the Ravens could look to replace Averett in a deep and talented cornerback draft class.

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This one feels inevitable — don’t expect Anthony Averett to be playing for the Ravens in 2022.

Verdict: Decline