Ravens aptly listed as a big winner in early free agency
Quality, not quantity, has defined the Baltimore Ravens‘ free agency activity in 2022, and the team has rightfully been recognized as an early winner this offseason.
After failing to make the postseason for the first time since 2017, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has played his cards almost perfectly.
Baltimore’s slow start to this year’s free agency might have given the impression that the team wasn’t looking to spend big, but the Ravens quickly turned that around and signed three crucial starting-caliber players.
Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon recently listed the biggest winners and losers of early 2022 free agency with a critical note that trades were not included in the ranking process. Per Kenyon, the Ravens hit the nail on the head with every one of their free-agent acquisitions:
"“Although it wasn’t a busy opening week for the Baltimore Ravens, they certainly had a productive one. The key addition is safety Marcus Williams, who spent the last five seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He collected 320 tackles and 15 interceptions during that time, parlaying that strong performance into a five-year, $70 million deal with the Ravens.”"
Kenyon also mentions Morgan Moses and Michael Pierce as key signings given their respective upgrades in the offensive and defensive lines.
The Ravens receive an excellent grade for early free agency moves in 2022
Had the Ravens nabbed Za’Darius Smith, their free-agent grade would be even higher, but ever since snubbing Baltimore, Smith has reportedly signed a more lucrative deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Such are the unpredictable whims of free agency.
Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals got a nod on Kenyon’s list as well for their massive upgrades on the offensive line while the Cleveland Browns were notably excluded despite their blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson.
Going into the 2022 season, Lamar Jackson could still use extra offensive line reinforcements, specifically at the center position after Bradley Bozeman signed a baffling dirt-cheap contract with the Panthers.
Other positions of need have been harped on over and over again and include the pass-rush and the cornerback unit.
DeCosta has the means to sign a few more top free agents at important positions, and doing so would allow the Ravens to draft the best player available in the first round rather than pigeonhole themselves into a “must-pick-this-prospect-or-else” situation.
Keep an eye on any sneaky good moves the Ravens may make between now and the start of the season.