J.C. Tretter is the last quality free agent center left for the Ravens
After a first-week whirlwind of free agency, the Baltimore Ravens could still make one more colossal move: sign center J.C. Tretter.
Bradley Bozeman’s departure has left the team searching for a quality center, but the options at that position are quickly diminishing.
At the time of this writing, former Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter is the top choice available, and if the Ravens want him in their offensive line, they had better act fast.
Tretter spent the last five years in the league at Cleveland, playing 16 games every year. His reliability and run-blocking abilities earned him a 78.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade last season, and he was responsible for only five penalties and a single sack.
At 31-years-old, Tretter bucks the trend and represents a quality upgrade at center with arguably higher upside than Bozeman.
While Tretter may be slightly out of the Ravens’ price range, he should be the only free agent center the Ravens consider to replace Bozeman.
The Ravens must decide if center J.C. Tretter is worth the money in 2022
Other available centers include Matt Paradis, Josh Andrews, and B.J. Finney, among others, but at their ages and production levels, the Ravens are better off selecting a young center in the draft or just rolling with what they have on the roster.
Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals recently signed tackle La’el Collins, adding yet another talented offensive linemen to their roster.
This offseason, the Bengals have obviously prioritized improving their offensive line more than the Ravens have, but Baltimore doesn’t want to be playing a game of catch-up when it comes to providing pass protection for Lamar Jackson.
Morgan Moses was a good start, but signing J.C. Tretter would put the Ravens in a very privileged position in the draft such that they don’t need to nab a center prospect with their first pick.
Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum has been the name most floated around in mocks, and he indeed poses as a starting-caliber option with the potential to develop into a franchise cornerstone piece. Following the fallout of the Za’Darius Smith deal, though, the Ravens may instead want to address their pass-rush early.
Baltimore’s front office hasn’t intimated that they were done spending in free agency, and Tretter could very well be the name on the top of their list right now.
If J.C. Tretter and the Ravens can agree on the financials, this free agent move would be a dream come true.