Ravens facing competition from AFC contender in Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes

Clowney might join his old teammates away from Baltimore.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens may have signed Derrick Henry, but that hasn't stopped multiple defensive starters from last year's league-best defense. Pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney could easily be next on that list if the Ravens don't end up giving the veteran sack artist the contract he deserves.

After safety Geno Stone signed a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals and top linebacker Patrick Queen joined the hated Pittsburgh Steelers with a fairly cheap three-year deal, there's a good chance Clowney will be the next player who leaves Baltimore after the departure of Mike Macdonald.

Not only has Clowney been sniffing around the Carolina Panthers as they look to dig themselves out of a hole, but the former No. 1 overall pick has also been connected to the New York Jets. Clowney could be a veteran replacement for Bryce Huff after the speedy rusher bolted to join the Philadelphia Eagles.

With the lack of depth on the defensive line, mostly as it pertains to the edge rushers, the Ravens would be utterly foolish if they had a player like Clowney on the squad and let him walk for nothing in one of the most important seasons in franchise memory. Clowney needs to be back in purple and black.

Panthers, Jets trying to steal Jadeveon Clowney from Baltimore Ravens

Clowney joining Robert Saleh and Aaron Rodgers in New York would mark the third Raven from the 2023 squad to suit up in green next year, as left guard John Simpson signed a two-year contract and right tackle Morgan Moses was sent to the Jets via a somewhat odd trade.

The Ravens did manage to bring back Brent Urban on a one-year deal, but his value lies almost exclusively in his ability to defend the run. Kyle Van Noy is also a free agent. The $98 million man Justin Madubuike is amazing as a defensive tackle, but he can't carry an entire pass rush by himself.

The Ravens reworked Ronnie Stanley's contract, and they could restructure bigger names like Lamar Jackson and Roquan Smith to free up even more space. Eric DeCosta can't use the financial excuse if is unable to come to an agreement with Clowney for the 2024 season and beyond.

If the Ravens lose Clowney. DeCosta can't sleepwalk through the rest of free agency. If he does, and misses out on the best edge rushers in this class, the Ravens' defense will look toothless compared to last season.