Eric DeCosta ruins Ravens fanbase's mood with spending comments at NFL Combine

DeCosta may not be willing to splash the cash

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Baltimore Ravens fans received a 1-2 punch of celebratory news followed by party pooping from upper management. While it seems like GM Eric DeCosta is ready to do whatever it takes to bring back star defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, that might be all the big moves out there for Baltimore.

The Ravens have over 20 players slated to hit free agency, and they rank right on the fringes of the Top 20 in the NFL in cap space. Even with the cap being expanded to unprecedented levels this season, Baltimore is not going to cut checks of astronomical value.

DeCosta cautioned fans who expect him to turn into Scrooge McDuck after the Madubuike situation is resolved, saying they likely won't be among the more aggressive teams in the free agency market this offseason. That's a bummer for fans, especially when they're in the middle of a Super Bowl window.

DeCosta also mentioned how much he believes in the importance of continuity from a roster and coaching point of view. While he seems willing to keep some of Baltimore's best free agents in-house, that doesn't mean he will write a blank check in a year where missing the Super Bowl could be dire.

Eric DeCosta says Baltimore Ravens won't spend a ton in free agency

Outside of Madubuike, many of Baltimore's best internal free agents are veterans like Jadeveon Clowney and Kevin Zeitler that could return on cheaper short-term deals. This frugal approach may end up being penny smart, but dollar foolish, as the defense could be impacted in a major fashion.

Patrick Queen overcame his early struggles and fashioned himself into an elite linebacker last year, but his price range makes it difficult to see his partnership with Roquan Smith enduring for very long. Geno Stone might leave for a more expansive role as a starting safety elsewhere.

While the Ravens have been linked to top running backs like Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley, DeCosta's comments paired with reports that claim Baltimore is unwilling to pay more than $10 million for one of those names casts doubt over their ability to upgrade in that area.

Ravens fans can take solace in the fact that they have one of the best teams in the league once again and that Madubuike is coming back, in all likelihood, next year. However, with a dynasty in Kansas City winning in a down year, Baltimore must make big upgrades in order to knock them off.