Baltimore Ravens taking unnecessary risk with latest QB news

This move could come back to bite the Ravens

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens haven't made any significant additions to their quarterback room behind Lamar Jackson after longtime backup Tyler Huntley joined the rival Cleveland Browns. Josh Johnson is the current backup quarterback, while Malik Cunningham slides in as the third guy on the depth chart.

The Ravens have been very open about the fact they expect many of their best internal options to replace their departed free agents. This extends to their quarterback room, it appears, as the coaching staff seems more than willing to head into the season with the two-time MVP being backed up by a greybeard journeyman and a neophyte youngster.

According to ESPN's Jamison Hensley, John Harbaugh confirmed the elder statesman Johnson has already locked down the backup quarterback spot behind Jackson, relegating 2023 undrafted free agent Cunningham (who succeeded Jackson at Louisville) to the QB3 role.

While teams never go into the season expecting their backup quarterback to play, putting that much trust in a player who will turn 38 years old in May and has thrown just five touchdown passes since the start of the 2019 season could come back to bite Baltimore if he is forced into action.

Baltimore Ravens taking huge risk by naming Josh Johnson QB2

The Ravens could add another veteran with a bit of a higher ceiling with some of their remaining cap space, but it seems like Eric DeCosta is completely unwilling to open up his checkbook. After the Derrick Henry signing, DeCosta has decided to leave the offense around Jackson essentially untouched.

Baltimore seems to be ruling out the possibility of drafting a quarterback on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft. With interesting developmental prospects like Florida State's Jordan Travis and Tennessee's Joe Milton there for the taking, the Ravens could land a long-term upgrade at the position.

Baltimore also seems unwilling to give the younger Cunningham much of a shot. He may not have the greatest arm or the best physical profile, but neither did Huntley, and he carved out a very solid career as a backup behind Jackson. Cunningham unquestionably has the higher ceiling of the two.

Johnson having a role as QB3 behind a player with more upside would be a perfect quarterback room, but the Ravens seem to believe he can best operate the offense in the event Jackson needs to sit out for a bit. While Johnson may be well-traveled, this could also be quite a surprising.